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Quick study

According to Hauser & Wirth, abstract painter Jack Whitten has died at 78. In 2013 NYTimes review, Holland Cotter praised Whitten for his restless energy: With a career grazing the 50-year mark, Jack Whitten is still making work that looks like no one else’s, which is saying something, given the flood of abstract painting in New York … read more... "Quick study"

More on Design

Some of my notan designs. I sometimes push them a little farther than just notan. In my last blog post, I wrote that the Golden Ratio is just one of many ways to divide up the canvas in a pleasing way. What are some other ways? Because...Show More Summary

Instagram: Evening at Mar-a-Lago

Contributed by Sharon Butler / This weekend, as hundreds of thousands of mad pink-hatters gathered around the world to protest the underhanded, misogynistic, and essentially anti-citizen agenda of the Koch-fueled, Putin-assisted Republicans,...Show More Summary

The Golden Ratio: Fact or Fiction—And Does It Really Matter?

Golden Ratio and the Nautilus Shell(The red shows a curve based on the Golden Ratio. The blue shows a shell,the growth pattern of which is not based on the Golden Ratio but on a logarithmic curve.) Most of my students are familiar with the mathematical concept of the Golden Ratio, even before I bring it up in my workshops. Show More Summary

How Important is Eyesight to a Painter?

Degas Painting, 1867Degas was 33 Degas, who fretted about problems with his eyes all his life, suffered from retinopathy. We don’t know exactly what the problem was; 19th century ophthalmology didn’t have the tools we have today for diagnosis. Show More Summary

Two Coats Selected Gallery Guide / January 18, 2018

After a productive winter break in the studio, the time has come to put the canvas down and check out other people’s work. Here’s a list of exhibitions, mostly painting, organized by neighborhood. I’m looking forward to seeing you out...Show More Summary

Send a Painter to Bonnie Scotland!

Highlands Cottage, 12x16 OilStudio painting based on a plein air sketch I made during my 2016 trip to Scotland. This June, I'm joining several other painters in Scotland in a painting retreat. The retreat will be based on the Isle of...Show More Summary

Grand Canyon Celebration of Art - 10th Annual in 2018

Sunrise, Grand Canyon This week, I'm lost. I'm wandering the rim of a vast canyon, taking any trail that offers the least promise of finding a special place. But I'm not outfitted with hiking boots and water bottle; instead, my gear consist of computer and sketchpad. Show More Summary

Revisions: Sunrise, Ramah Lake

Revision: "Sunrise, Ramah Lake"19x25 pastel by Michael Chesley JohnsonAVAILABLE The other day, I wrote about coming across a couple of large pastels from 15+ years ago that I wanted to rework. Here is the second (and last.) I really like the color of the original piece, but the foreground design was rather static. Show More Summary

First Plein Air of the New Year

"Winter Lake"8x10 Oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable It's been a busy season with one thing or another, but today I finally was able to head out into the snowy wilderness to paint. What called me out? The first snow to hit the Zuni Mountains. Show More Summary

Seeking Painting Workshop Venues

Like most artists who teach, I schedule my workshops a year or more in advance. Although 2018 is already scheduled out, I am looking ahead (already!) to 2019 and beyond. If you are part of a painting group or art organization that would...Show More Summary

Art and Film: Dedicated followers of fashion

Contributed by Jonathan Stevenson / In the brilliantly obtuse Phantom Thread, a paradoxically epic chamber piece, Paul Thomas Anderson explores the way in which romantic union constrains and energizes creativity. Reynolds Woodcock (Daniel...Show More Summary

Some Upcoming Workshops

Sometimes I hesitate to post information about workshops because I feel the world today is already so saturated with advertising. But teaching is my bread and the painting, only butter. Besides, I do enjoy sharing what I've learned over the years--and I always learn something when I teach, too. Show More Summary

Revisions: El Malpais: Lava and Sandstone

El Malpais: Lava and Sandstone19x25 pastel by Michael Chesley JohnsonAvailable While packing for our move from Arizona to New Mexico last spring, I came across paintings I'd had in storage for 15 years or longer. Some of these were large pastels painted on full sheets of sanded paper. Show More Summary

Studio Visit: James Rauchman

Contributed by Sharon Butler / We were born several years apart, but James Rauchman and I have the same severe late-February birthday. Babies born in the northeast during the dark, cold winter months are a hearty breed, and when I stopped...Show More Summary

Encounter: John Tenney Johnson, Master of the Nocturne

“Down the Moonlit Trail,” 1938. Oil on board. Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Cody, Wyoming, USA. I've always been an admirer of nocturnes. Although some artists paint them at night, many paint them in the studio, working from memory or sketches done on-site. Show More Summary

Plein Air Essential Tools: 6B Graphite Pencil

Value Sketch Showing Marks Made by 6B Graphite Pencil I thought I'd start the new year off right with a new blog post. In the past, I've written about essential tools for the plein air painter. One tool I forgot to write about—whichShow More Summary

Painting Locations I Have Known

We always enjoy some free time between Christmas and New Year's. Most folks with whom we do business take time off, so there's little point in writing e-mails or picking up the phone. For us, it's a period of reading books, watching movies and taking hikes. Show More Summary

Jay Senetchko: A tale of two empires

Contributed by Dion Kliner / At “The Course of a Distant Empire,”  Jay Senetchko’s fine solo exhibition at Windsor Gallery in Vancouver, looking from painting to painting — from The Fire Sermon, to A Game of Chess, to The Burial of the Dead, to Death by Water, to What the Thunder Said —  you might begin to recall the … read more... "Jay Senetchko: A tale of two empires"

Undergraduate Sketchbook: December 2017

About the artist: Phoebe Funderburg-Moore uses her sketchbook like a visual diary, reflecting on experiences and collecting her thoughts. Along with the sketchbook practice, Phoebe makes murals, comics, album covers, t-shirts, and more. Show More Summary

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