Thursday, December 31, 2020

Goodbye 2-0-2-0!

What a crazy year - living without any knowledge to navigate a pandemic.  I forget which expert said that, but apparently that's why we're all feeling so exhausted. Nothing for your brain to rely on to face this kind of threat. Cannot even imagine what it must be like trying to suddenly home school AND work from home. But around here, not having to commute - WOW - delightful!

I've been blaming my lack of creativity on COVID, lame I know, but now gotta figure out how to get going again. Been pondering it for a while and THEN. . . .

  • Said out loud to myself the other night "I wish someone would just buy a painting, any painting to help get me out of this funk."  Literally within the hour someone emailed saying they wanted to buy FOUR paintings - that has never happened! It was so incredible I thought it might be spam. Delightfully it was for real, now these lovelies are: 
Seriously going to miss the Sushi - how fun was that!

  • Three days ago thought "wish there were other artists to challenge me like the old 30-in-30 crazy days." Next day, out of the blue, I get an artist's newsletter suggesting daily painting/blogging for two weeks to kick off the New Year.  Perfect!
  • In early December, another artist I admire created a workshop called "The Happy Habit of Painting Every Day" well how could I not sign up?  It doesn't start until February so that has amped up the pressure to just get painting.  Can you hear me talking myself into all of this as I write?

Most of my creativity since September has been wheeling, dealing, researching and learning a different blog format to put on a virtual show for our neighborhood art club rather than our annual in-person event. The 18th Annual RC Art Show - Virtual 2020.  Some artists are not too familiar with e-commerce and some are, quite a mixed bag with a common storefront. Had a great time figuring it all out and it definitely helped pass the time in lockdown.  Hope we continue to do something like this in the future.  Update 3/30/21 changed link to last version of the 2020 show. 

Lastly - I also saw a request to donate art to nursing home seniors to help brighten their holidays.  These sweeties now have new homes and it feels good to "clean out" what i consider favorites that have been left behind. I hope they bring some color and joy to those stuck inside more than I am.

Colorful Gifts - Leesburg, VA

So now I guess I'm ready to wrap up 2020 and run headlong into the New Year, happier knowing many things will be better despite COVID.  We will get through this together and I plan to have a smile on no matter what.  Really looking forward to what comes next. 

Life is joy we make one moment at a time! 

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Art into Accessories

Quite the challenge getting in the mood to paint these days, but always hopeful to catch the buzz again soon.  Meanwhile having a great time adding paintings to my Redbubble shop where they are recreated on useables (pouches, totes, phone wallets), wearables, accessories and decor.  So excited I even created a Google Slide presentation that shows what's possible, how it goes from painting to product, and unique ideas for gift giving.  Learning a lot and love having something to learn.  

Paintings added in the last month - after-all this is a monthly newsletter now, but there are many more on RB.  Check them out.  
Hot Pink Waterlily
click pic to see on RedBubble


Hot, Wild & Bold!
click pic to see on RedBubble

Painting to Product - Show Me

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


Sunday, August 2, 2020

July - August It's All Melting Together

The Heat

We've had record number of days over 90 degrees but finally some rain.  Between the weather, not going anywhere during the pandemic, and the new "normal" boring routine - I guess it's not surprising this blog post took it's sweet time.

On with the good news - actually painted two whole paintings.

The first is a tribute to hot days and ice cold water in the shade!  This is the one I mentioned last month - combining three photo references in one painting.  The heart-shaped ironwork from a lovely note card from a friend, the street+balcony+flowers from one photo, and the super-cool water pitcher and glasses from another.  Whew took forever, but finally happy with it.  Love the strong warm and cool colors but probably a bit "too" much contrast.

click to zoom / purchase
Inside-Out: Refreshing

The second painting went from:  awesome idea - to what was I thinking - to happy artist!  Some subjects just seem overwhelming but once you start, it just falls into place.  Frustrating that there was so much putzing around. Self-inflicted as this was my mini-art club challenge to "paint what you usually paint, but add a twist or something new."  Comfort and challenge.  Wrought iron is one thing, whatever this is - is something else.  I googled concrete fence, balustrade, terrace, etc. but cannot find a name for it! Grrrrrr.  I guess painting it was easier than finding out what it is called.  Anyway looks like a lovely afternoon on The Terrace waiting for The People, The Glasses and The Something to celebrate!  What a captivating inside-out scene.

click to zoom / purchase
Inside-Out: La Terrasse

The Show

Lastly the Loudoun Sketch Club released our Summer show - virtually of course - see link below.  Suggest changing video settings to 2x faster, then sit back and enjoy.  Alphabetic so you'll find me in under the "S" section.

Click below - the floating radish by Brie Dodson is worth the view.

Oh and these two found a home at a nearby friends house last month - on my birthday - best gift ever!

Inside-Out: Happy Hour
A Colorful Entry

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


Thursday, July 2, 2020

June - Time Flies, But Where Did It Go?

Well this is embarrassing - a whole month has come and gone, yet only one painting actually materialized.  Even I'm surprised by the lack of creativity.  Maybe I'll finish the one on the easel - an experiment that's been quite a challenge.  Merging three photo references - what was I thinking, but balcony photos are getting tough to find.  

Anyway, love the way this one turned out - a two-photo-reference-combo which is probably what made me think I could go for a three-fer. By far, this is my favorite ironwork.  Maybe it's looking a bit familiar.  Backlit grapes were fun too.

Inside-Out Happy Hour
click to zoom / purchase

Hiding from DPW Gallery View, but hanging in our front hallway, is the painting below. It is another run at the earlier Beautiful Morning in Paris painting, but on a 12x12" panel.  Scary big to me.

A little backstory.  A few years ago, I joined the local art club (nearly 170 members).  We are having a summer show (virtual) and thought perhaps I should enter this painting. I love it, but the plan is to have the submitted painting on the club website for a year - sounds like a great venue for possible sales and the eternal blatant self promotion.  Oh my what to do?   While mulling it over, DH buys the painting!  What a sneak.  Problem solved!  He is really smart like that and now I know he loves it as much as I do.

Grand Parisian Balcony
click to zoom

Seems pretty unanimous that artists are struggling with being locked down and creative.  Probably shouldn't be surprised because everyone likely feels the same way.  For some reason being trapped in your studio should be delightful, but it just doesn't feel very inspirational.  A new month, a new outlook already in the works!  Maybe trite, but I do know we'll all get through this and be stronger because of it. Smile and look at the pretty pictures, it will make you feel better. I hope.

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

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

May - Isolating But Emerging

Inside Out Continues

I guess we've all gotten a little too cooped-up and forced to find clever ways to break up the routine - me included.  Admittedly this was my challenge to the art group to paint "your kitchen counter," but it was based on a whole different idea than actually being in lockdown mode!  Long story so I'll skip it for now and just show you what's up for auction this week.  Super fun tackling chrome, black shiny plastic, flatware, ceramic cups, towel, glass backsplash - all with rather interesting under-counter lighting!  Still have no idea how it all fit on a 6x6" panel.  Love this one. . . .  whatever did we do before K-cups and Nespresso pods?

AM-PM Besties
click to zoom / purchase


This most recent balcony celebrates the French Apéro (short for aperitif) - aka Happy Hour.  This tradition is to enjoy a bubbly drink, something fruity, reflect on the day, and ease into their somewhat late dinner hour.  A wonderful time when the sun starts to set.  In Paris, the streets quickly become shadowed, dark, cool and somehow smell (delightfully) of history, moist stone, and lives well lived - you can feel the warmth from above at the same time.  A most enjoyable "human" sensation and definitely a favorite memory to savor.  Salut!

Apéro Time
click to view / purchase

The two balconies below sold right away - sure wish I knew why people like them so much. It can't just be the new technique 'cause the still-lifes are still hanging out but the balconies are quickly finding new homes.  I really love them, but thought it was more about being there last summer.  Perhaps they just sweep me off my feet and out through my paint brush at a time when we all need to find creative outlets.

Breakfast in Paris
Manchaca, Texas
Paris Flower Box
Spencer, North Carolina

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - thanks so much for joining me on this journey!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

April - Inside Out


So glad I put a few balconies on auction/sale - I just love sharing them with people who love them as much as I do. Huge bright spot in any artist's day when someone has to have one.

Hanging in there with a positive outlook, but adjusting to the perspective of being inside.  Northern Virginia seems to be managing the curve so that's good news.  Really want to get back into continuing this series and inspired by this rather curious happenstance of views from inside, looking out.  I, for one, am really looking forward to the changes ahead and ready to embrace the exciting and refreshing new ways things will be done.  Okay, some won't be so great, but others will be awesome!

Sneak peak of two recent paintings - to be auctioned in May (hidden until auction start).

Inside-Out:  Paris Flower Box
Friday - May 1st

Inside-Out: Healthy Breakfast in Paris
Friday - May 8th

YAY - Two more paintings sold - My guess is the popularity of landscapes is actually true and the insights from the Dennis Perrin method are to thank for this delightful uptick in sales.   See, change is really good!

Parisian Breakfast
Sold - California
Beautiful Morning in Paris
Sold - Alabama

RedBubble Rocks!

Received my first "royalty" check (OMG did I really just say that?) from sales of items on the site that takes my art and turns it into decor and accessories.  ART that keeps on giving.  If you have some spare time and a creative heart - check it out, all sorts of art and artists. Free to sell, easy navigation to set up shop, customize products, etc.  See JohnnaArt on Redbubble

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

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

March (Late of Course) News


Around here life kinda froze up on March 10th along with any painting enthusiasm.  Slowly getting back into the groove and really trying to stay positive - looking forward to the silver lining that always comes along with things like this.  For one thing, I'm so grateful it's Spring - can you imagine if it was November. . . .  dreary & gray.

Good News

Got around to posting one of the balcony scenes on Daily Paintworks and it was purchased before I even woke up the next day.  Lovely buyer and heartfelt email.  That is priceless to an artist!  

On the way to North Carolina

Planning to release a few more on Friday's in April.  Each one is a bit different.  I absolutely fell in love with all the different kinds of wrought iron work.

Hang in There - we're all in it together

More current art happenings are now on Facebook and Instagram.  Decor and Accessories are on Redbubble.  If there's something on you would like on Redbubble, just shoot me an email and I'll get on it.  I love having a few of items around the house, especially ones that have new owners.

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


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

February News

Happy Valentine's Day - How about these just-for-fun colorful hearts?

Four Hearts
click to zoom / purchase
This painting was an art club challenge to paint out of your head.  Well. . . er, not much rambling around in there begging to be painted.  I guess I trust what I see a lot more than what I imagine.  Anyway, this title should be "fill in the LOVE" and choose what you want to say.  Better late than never!

Balconies, balconies, balconies

Last month's Parisian balcony spawned several more.  I just love them and not sure when / how to offer them for sale.  I think I need them around me for a while.  Maybe a little like nurturing children and then helping them leave the nest when it's time.  Eventually paintings seem to find their way to other happy homes which makes me a very happy girl.  The first one below, is going on auction Saturday 2/15 so dipping a toe in the water and see what happens. 

French Balcony
click to zoom / purchase

Other balconies I can't stop staring at. . . Even ventured into repainting the first one (TL) on a 12x12" board - love overload!

Interested in the latest news - hop over to my facebook page for paintings before they make it to this blog.  Preview photos may be seen on Instagram @JohnnaArtVA - my first Perrin-inspired painting of the rose on the piano had over a hundred likes which is huge for me.  Still figuring out how to leverage Instagram.  I encourage all artists to give the Perrin Method a try. Videos have been on sale lately.  Honestly, it's a challenge getting through the videos, but pays off in the end.

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

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Happy New Year

Resolutions - don't forget the blog.  I love that there's a written log of my art journey and thanks so much for coming along for the ride. Now I just gotta stick to it.  Seems people are picking words this year so mine is Explore!  Pretty much wide-open and looking forward to trying new things.

RedBubble streamlined wearables & decor by artist so: is the place.  Also see link in the header of the Daily Paint Works and/or  I'm tagging items with "JohnnaArt" so at just search on the tag.  New items are being added every few weeks.  Here's the latest (Frilly Lily painted long ago and just couldn't let it go). I've ordered an iPhone cover of it and a set of coasters with So Happy (sunflower). . . .  Have to keep up with the quality checks, ya know.

New Year 2020

Spending time and effort studying Dennis Perrin's Method workshop video I bought last year.  It's a series of documents, links, videos, facebook groups, etc.  After 10 paintings I still don't quite get why it's working so well.  Most artists know that you hear the same information over and over and finally something sticks and "you get it." I'm sure that's happening now and know a couple of things that seem to have stuck, so I'm stickin' with it. It certainly has jolted me out of my slump. Happy Dance!

2020 Top Ten

Best to go to to see the gallery and find out what's available.  Remember red dot in the bottom right corner means sold. A few of these will be displayed over the next several days, so if there's something you have to have, please send me a message (see below, right margin).  Thanks!

New happy 2019 homes

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