Wednesday, November 13, 2019

November News

First the Big News

Leaping into RedBubble where I am putting some of my favorite art out to be printed on wearables and home decor.  Couldn't be a better season than right now to launch a few products for sale!  RedBubble is getting great reviews and after personally checking out the quality on a few of their products, giving my seal of approval. Turnaround time was good too. Thanks to my artist friend for sharing the idea.  Great place to pick up fun and unique holiday gifts!

Look to the right to see my new tote bag. This is the "all over print" version. Click here or on the photo and off you'll go.

Oh and they offer lots of discounts so look around for those before ordering.  p.s. when you get there scroll down and click on the fish, then you'll see available options.

It will take a while to see if it's worth all the effort, but hopefully like DPW that time will be well worth it.

It's all about Me & You

Finally bought a personal domain name - for now goes straight to Daily Paintworks - but there you'll see a few changes (mostly cosmetic).  Of course, you'll see the new shopping link.  If there's something you like in the gallery, but the painting isn't on RedBubble, just let me know and I'll get the back-office (DH) on it!  Naturally need all new high quality photos. . . .

It's all about Them

Worked on several paintings for the community art show in October.  These guys are very excited about the holidays and looking for good homes if you know of anyone. . . . a few will be released in the next few days.  Stay tuned.

Click to zoom / purchase

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time.   As always, thanks for being a part of my journey.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

August to October What!?

Good Grief - where has the time gone???

Highlights of the last few months:

Started working on some holiday themed works for our neighborhood Art Show planned for October and managed to get the September challenge (cats) completed - although not in time for our meeting - since we were on vacation for two weeks. Okay that gobbled up several wonderful days of planning, packing, eating and exploring.  Already planning to go back next year - YAY!

As soon as we got back, entered two shows and super-delighted to find out that one received an Artist Recognition Award - 3rd Place Oil.  This show was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Loudoun Sketch Club that I joined last March.  I had no idea they awarded ribbons and have never won any sort of recognition for a painting - what a high!  Perhaps not the best photo and the white ribbon is rather low-key, but I am still ecstatic over the whole thing.  My guess is around 100 paintings were hung.  Check it out:

Mandarin Debut 10 x 20"

Happy that several paintings brought some joy to others - either online or at the neighborhood sale (pretty good for a two hour event).

Also, this adorable kitty is headed to a new home as a very special gift - mum's the word for now tho.

Couch Potato

My turn for the October challenge which I still haven't done, but it's on the to-do list!  Busy time of year.   Will start posing the holiday paintings over the next several days.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Jumpin' July

Trying out a monthly newsletter format - comments and suggestions welcomed. 

Still working on getting more motivated, but managed to put a few paintings together.  Admittedly two were just a day apart and the last one just barely slid into July (thanks to a club challenge).

Summer Bouquet
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Our small "roof" deck is the only sunny spot for a garden so this year trying a few perennials to see if they will survive the winter. A lot of stairs getting everything from the garage to the top floor!  Things are going well for now - fingers crossed they all make it through the winter.  Naturally had to add a few annuals for color.

Wouldn't you love this bright and vivacious painting for a "desk" garden in your home or office?

Farmer's Market

Nothing better than the freshest food from the local farmer's market. Even though I'm not a morning person, the ambiance and community at these events is worth getting up for. Loved the way this turned out and once again, a difficult subject seems to get me going.  Either that, or low expectations usually produce more positive results. . . .

Salt & Pepper
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Before you pass judgement, this was a club challenge to paint a statue.  Well guess what, we don't really have any statues around here and the massive photo search didn't come up with much either. . . . so I resorted to a fun little ceramic salt and pepper shaker that somehow has survived multiple rounds of downsizing.  Quite the challenge painting a super-white, quirky looking dog tho! 

Enjoy, life is joy you make one moment at a time - Johnna
p.s. I'll try and work on formatting next month.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Spoonful of Summer

What's not to love - just picked fruit with a shiny spoon casting summer shadows. 

Update:  Apparently blogging has become passé in the art world, to be replaced by monthly newsletters and Instagram so find me @JohnnaArtVA along with a few of my other "creative" projects. 

Spoonful of Summer
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I guess we can assume my former somewhat-daily-blog has become infrequent enough that we should just admit it and call it a newsletter. I haven't given up painting, but still clawing my way out of a slump.  The blog has been a fantastic way to keep track of progress, thoughts, challenges and a way to connect with art lovers - so I think I'll keep going and switch to the monthly format at some point.  Thanks so much for hanging in there with me.  

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time – Johnna

p.s Happy to report Irish Window Sill just landed in Michigan to none other than a high school classmate from Wiesbaden, Germany!  Great memories from the years living in Europe.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Where's the Sage?

Actually the title of this painting should be Parsley, Rosemary and Thyme.   I'm sure most will get it the nuance.  More importantly this was my first at-home painting after attending Sarah Sedwick's workshop on dynamic painting.  Wonderful class and terrific crowd of artists.  Shout-out to the venue and Mónica Linares.  Check it out - wide variety of workshops. 

Where's the Sage?
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Sarah's approach is nearly opposite to mine, but figured it was time to switch things up.  I am mesmerized by her work and so lucky that this Oregon based artist ventured out to the east coast. Sarah is a delightful person and more importantly a great teacher. She runs an engaging workshop with demos, instruction, "exercises" and enlightening critiques (direct and positive).  Her involvement even continues afterwards with an alumni Facebook page, links to supplies, YouTube Videos, etc.  She also offers an online mentorship program. 

Sarah's approach that I incorporated into this painting (unlike previous ones!):
  1. Sketch - it's one thing to draw an outline on a canvas with paint, but another to actually sketch it out emphasizing the lights and darks.  These are large thumbnails which are quite helpful in making sure the composition works. 
  2. Apply Underpainting - cover canvas with a neutral tone and draw "again" by wiping out the light areas and darkening the darkest parts. This I get, but can't you just paint it that way?
  3. Globs - Premix all the paint you are going to need, for each area - well this involves MATH and guesstimates so another super-sized challenge. 
  4. Execute Painting - okay this was familiar, BUT this time there's a whole plan, strategy, multiple eyeball-to-mind-melds with the subject, and a different comfort level than before.  Hard to explain, but the number of decisions to be made are mostly done up-front rather than on-the-fly.  hmmmmm. . . . 
Did you notice the SAGE advice numbered above?

Thumbnail ~ 3 1/2"
How can it be that a former professional project manager and software engineer not have a plan before a project?  Today's mystery for sure - ha, ha.

Learned a ton and continuing along my artistic journey - now time to practice, practice, practice. 

Feel free to contact me for more info.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time, Johnna

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Bread 101

If you've never made bread before it's quite interesting and fun.  There's a woman nearby who teaches old-world style - and get this - new advancements in bread "technology."  For real.  After a few hours of hands-on labor and learning, we were served an over-the-top Charcuterie board to enjoy with the bread she started, but we finished making/baking.  A time to enjoy our accomplishments and ask questions. We all happily left with our new knowledge, ready-to-eat brioche & focaccia,  and our prepared, unproofed dough to make at home.  Check out her website if you're in the neighborhood Knead and Know (Middleburg, VA).  Other people in the class drove over an hour to get there, it's that good.

I loved her story about someone who said "do people really pay you to teach them how to make bread? Can they not follow a recipe?"  Since I grew up with a non-baking Mom, I think it might be a lot like making art - anyone can do it and read a bunch of book(s), but not really "get it" until a teacher takes you by the hand and guides you forward.  Then it's practice, practice, practice!

Bread 101
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Enjoy, life is joy we make one "bite" at a time, Johnna

p.s. my Mom was an awesome cook - always trying new things and making every day a bit of an adventure.  She took a bread baking class later in life which is what inspired me to give it a try.

Sunday, March 3, 2019


Oranges in ceramic fruit stand. Love the play of the blue and orange complementary colors. The panel was toned in a pinkish red that peeks through the background (click the zoom under the photo to see detail).  Seems whenever I paint with my artist friends things just work our better.   So glad to have creatives in my life!

click to zoom / purchase

The photo reference is from my favorite photographer on Paint My Photo - Viacheslav, from Russia - amazing still life set ups.  In this case, I chose to do one small part of the scene since I fell in love the fruit bowl.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time,  Johnna

Friday, March 1, 2019

Maldives Palm

Would love to jet off to some tropical island right about now!  Another huge cold front coming even though it's finally March. I always forget how long it takes to get past winter and early spring.  Excited that warm skies are coming and spring is just around the corner.

The photo reference is from the Maldives which is a tiny spec in the rather huge Indian Ocean. The scene was quite tranquil and there was a cool swing hooked to the tree.  With a bit of artistic license, it now looks like a storm is underway.  Guess the season has taken control of my paint brush!  Landscapes are a challenge for me, but good for getting out of my comfort zone.  Surprised that I really like this one - what's not to like about loose strokes, thick paint and a touch of drama in the atmosphere?  

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Is It Summer Yet?

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time, Johnna

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Heart of Gold

Simple, elegant valentine for a new love or a tried and true soul mate. Really anyone with a heart of gold. The reference photo for this one just begged me to paint it. Not sure why, but then again, why-not!  

Lately I've been trying to focus on the value of every day life and working to incorporate more "now or never / just do it" thinking - no excuse for putting things off, just give it a go.  I already know how to laugh at myself . . . .

Golden Heart
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Happy Valentines to all!  

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Fetching or Fletching

Who knew the "feathers" on a dart are called fletchings.  The Google tells me a fletching is a fin-shaped aerodynamic stabilization device attached to arrows, crossbow bolts or darts.  Of course, we all know that aerodynamic stabilization is important to love. . . .  ha, ha. 

I painted this because I thought the end looked like interlocking hearts and would fit right in with the holiday later this month.  A target also seemed appropriate because finding that right person is definitely a challenge.  So worth it though!

Love Target
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Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Camping Story

Many years ago I had the opportunity to go on a camping trip through the south of France.  Certainly a trip that will never be forgotten.  When I saw this photo reference it immediately took be back to the foggy mornings, starting a fire, boiling water and brewing tea. What more could an 18 year old desire?  Well, since memories are also made of dire circumstances, we ran out of tea and couldn't figure out why we had "withdrawal symptoms." Back then didn't even know tea had caffeine!

Oh, and before I forget, I swore never to go camping again - turns out three weeks in a tent along the French Riviera is "not my cup of tea!"  There was sand in everything. I would love to go back someday, but stay in a nice hotel with room service and hot showers.  ha ha.

It goes without saying, there were tons of fantastic memories from that trip and a few other "lessons learned."  Now it all just makes for great story-telling. Travel seems to create unforgettable memories. . . .

Campfire Tea
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Happy to report that Little Pink Carnations is off to Oak Hill, VA and Peek A Boo II is headed to a first time Grandmother.  Life is to be celebrated.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time – Johnna

p.s. Please take a moment and sign up for email updates to get paintings and stories whenever something is new - top right, this page.  Note - you will receive an email to verify.  Just click on the button in the email and you're in!  Your email is safe and will never be shared.  Thanks.

Photo reference: Pixabay nasircoolboy1 tea pot - seriously.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Little Pink Carnations

​Very tiny vase with a few colorful pink carnations that I threw together for our newly renovated bathroom - wow really made an impact. Literally started the morning in a bright and happy place. The day just skipped along, surprising what a hot-swoosh of color can do to lighten your mood!

I was fascinated by the reflective glass as it hit the counter - really sparkly.  Probably over-painted (with a few palette knife slashes), but i love how it turned out. Who doesn't need a little bling first thing in the morning?  

Little Pink Carnations
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Trying to find and work on subjects that shine, glow, metal, glass, texture . . .  who knows what's next.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tart and Sharp

Not sure what I'm thinking today, but really want to get "out of the box" painting-wise. Metal is a challenge so why not something familiar with something crazy-wild.  A trip to the basement turned up some old fashioned, black handled scissors.  Happy girl! Been continuing to downsize, which makes finding objects to paint all that more daunting.  Oh and I want to get back to painting from life again - maybe that will trigger some new year's goals!

As usual coming up with a title is another difficulty. After blowing way too much time searching, a light bulb went off and produced this title.  I guess it's all worth it in the end.  

Tart and Sharp
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Thanks for reading this far and for following my journey.  In appreciation, here's a free website that has helped me out a lot.  Check it out Word Hippo - all sorts of helpful word tools.  

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

Saturday, January 12, 2019

2018 Milestone

Happy New Year!

Always a good idea to mark time and look back over the past 12 months.  Blogging, journaling, whatever you want to call it is great for motivation, happiness and enthusiasm going into the new year.  So, here's a view of the paintings that left the studio in 2018.  Ended up doing three shows in 2018 and learned a lot. Also donated two paintings that were auctioned off by the Loudoun Arts Council. Looking forward to more challenges and some focused goal setting (for a change) in 2019.

2018 Sold and Gifted

Great memories and stories came out of this bunch. For me, the best part of art-making is sharing it with others.  Here's my 2018 favorite - Summer Dreams(lobster) painted with my Art BFFs, they always bring out the best in me. 

From the buyer:

... Your painting is stunning and will be a gift to my husband for our anniversary. We were married twenty-four years ago in France and ate lobster for dinner. Since that day, we eat lobster every year in celebration. I know your painting will be cherished along with that memory.

Love it - art truly brings another dimension to life.  

Enjoy - Life is joy we make one moment at a time - Johnna

p.s. the sushi is staying with me - most fun I've had painting ever!