Earth Awareness

Erosion Cloth

Fall Feeling

It is October, and in the Carolinas the air is nippy. Sweatshirt weather with a little rain falling at times. I had this idea that it would be fun to create a work with more texture. I decide to build a surface with media without having to use thick oils.

Sure, you can build up your oils, but that is costly. First I created the undersurface of Erosion Cloth covered with tile grout, and then I applied the paint.

In this new work, I wanted to experiment with texture and purchased some Erosion Cloth. I mounted it with Glue to a piece of pink insulation foam (so work was light), about 3/4 inch thick and then mixed tile grout that I applied with a spatula. After drying overnight, I glued it to the foam board and because there were voids at the edge of the surface that bothered me, I filled them. So, I grabbed a canister of Cement Patch. No tile grout was left: opps! All of this was kind of messy and time-consuming, but I love to experiment. I was hoping the tile grout would crack, and I could stain it, but I failed to crack it after drying before I adhered it to the foam. I ended up with was a very rough ridged textured surface.

The downside, no large areas that were smooth or flat so that I could create space for air or breathing room. Lesson learned, but I had fun with the experiment. Results- a very textured surface that has the appearance of thick oil. So using the methodology of fat over lean, I layered out ideas in latex and acrylic paint and blocked out some colors to get a feel. I finished off the piece with oils, mixed with Gamblin Galkyd lite; it makes the paint creamy and ideal for flowing. I applied the paint with a brush and palette knife; labor Intensive, but nice surface.

Now, what do I do with 25 yards of erosion cloth? Erosion cloth is in keeping with my ideas on sustainability and protecting the earth and awareness of climate change.

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry again....alas! No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.

The saying is adapted from a line in “To a Mouse,” by Robert Burns:

“The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men often go awry

An' lea'e us naught but grief an' pain…”

Never stop when the creativity is flowing.

The Process

Artistic Goal

I like to create in a series and so this was my first painting in this series. I have titled the series: “Earth Awareness.” My goal is to have the underlying theme relevant to sustainability and climate change. Artists can play an important role in making issues visible. Finding one’s artistic voice or oeuvre is a lifelong pursuit. Exploring our passions keeps the creativity flowing.

“In the Earth Awareness series, I want to combine texture and paint to virtually create textured sculptural creations. Upon closer viewer, you will come to understand the inspiration behind the works. Visually, I am going to try to lure you and perhaps awaken you to things that are visible and things that are missing that you are not even aware that are happening across the globe nationally and locally as well. For me, I see it first hand. Urban Forests are disappearing. Local trees are being cut down and replaced by buildings and condos in my neighborhood. Across the globe, rivers are changing, streams are no longer there. The land is eroded. Nature is disappearing right in front of us. Deforestation has caused areas of our natural forests to be blighted. Forests are being decimated by fires. If I can get your attention through my art and invite you to look at something afresh, maybe you will pay closer attention to our beautiful world around us with the subliminal goal of understanding and an aspiration to sustain this biodiverse planet.”

Fall Feelings

24"x24" Mixed Media/Oil on substrate of foam board.

Fall Feelings


Cheryl Johnson

United States


Size: 24 H x 24 W x 0.8 in

Ships in a cardboard box

Purchase on Saatchi