Wednesday, December 15, 2021

December - Reflections

The last week of November was the time when our sweet Mom passed away (almost 94). Family was in the room holding her hand (and several of us nearby - virtually). Thankfully a brief and peaceful transition.  Not unexpected, but a bit of a surprise. 

A truly vibrant woman who taught us so much, encouraged us to be our best, and cajoled us through a life living around the globe - always fearless, always game, always making life interesting and fun. She was a trailblazer and made us feel safe despite the chaos of moving and somehow managed to calmly raise a family of five well-behaved children (wink, wink). We are grateful for the expert and unwavering care she received the week before, and know she's off to her next adventure with a smile on her face and a song in her heart!

Life is quirky - for some unknown reason I chose this last still life in November and decided to call it "For Mom."  My mother always had the most gorgeous African Violets on her kitchen windowsill. Purple was my favorite.  How fitting, given the circumstances.

For Mom
click to zoom / purchase

Late-November, I decided to clear the decks and paint a series of holiday paintings to give as gifts. I added them to the gallery to remind me of a few of the special people in my life. We are a spread out family - Virginia, New Mexico, Alabama, Florida and Texas!  Despite the circumstances, it was great getting together to celebrate a life well lived and ignore the pandemic for a few days. 

click to zoom gallery

Enjoy! Remember life is joy we make one moment at a time -- so get out there and make some memories!  Be safe :-) 


Monday, November 29, 2021

November - Recovery Time

Was on quite a roll and then November arrived.  Got a few in and then started working on a holiday project that has to be hush, hush for now.  Oh my, it's the end of November already! Where are the paintings, what have I been doing?  Not too much actually.

Three of these are already in new homes - Northern Virginia, Alabama and Colorado. Can you guess which ones?   

click photo to enlarge
click here to view/zoom gallery

Have been focused on adding lots of new art and items to Society6 just in time (hopefully) for the holidays.  Love their iPhone cases, trays and cutting boards.  Looks like their coasters are nicer than RedBubble - time will tell.  Can't guarantee shipping times, but earlier has to be better.  Love RedBubble for their quality and so many other accessories. Both sites pay a small amount to the artist and it's a great way to spread the gift of art around in a much more practical way. Use "JohnnaArt" to filter views.  So many ideas and talents you could get lost for days :-) 

A few other paintings sold and 10 favorite, but unsold paintings, have been donated to local a senior home -- feels so good - art is truly a gift whether donated, given, purchased, or gifted!  

Enjoy, life is joy we share one moment at a time - Happy Holidays! 

Wednesday, October 27, 2021

October - Have an Art Show and They Will Come!

WOW - after months of Covidness, finally had our in-person neighborhood art show and sale. My only "stand in front of it live" art event. Well this year call it pent-up demand or whatever, the 15 resident artists had the largest turnout in 20 years.  Enormous amount of effort to do all the prep-work and then show-production-organization work.  Set-up took two hours and the show only lasts two hours!!??!!   Well worth it.  This introvert had a fantastic time 😊  Great night meeting neighbors, friends and hearing stories that connect us through art.  Energized yet again to keep creating.

In all honesty, two paintings sold online while framing was in progress, 10 paintings sold at the show, and two sold on the 5 minute drive home - wink, wink.                    

Did I tell you that frames are in short supply / backordered - luckily bought ahead but it was quite the drama-scene deciding which ones would be properly dressed for the show.  My online sales are rarely framed so deer-in-the-headlights for a few days. In the end it all worked out - just like life usually does. 

Ta-Da. . . Sold, in or around the 'hood or gifts off to unknown territories.  Early holiday shoppers - smart. . . .

During framing Last Peony (middle left) made its way to a new, now repeat buyer in NC, Escape the Estate (bottom right) hopped a flight to Texas. Blue Bowl with Orange is headed to Colorado after reconnecting with a delightful co-worker from years past. I just LOVE how art connects people and their stories!

Available paintings added in October - click collage to go to the gallery.  Holiday shopping, definitely smart.  New paintings added each week, check back often.  BTW, you can mark me as a "favorite artist" and then just click that button on the main DPW page.  

p.s. Right before cutoff,  Gorgeous Goldfish, bottom left, said "bye y'all" and headed off to Decatur, AL - will be in great company.

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - thanks to everyone for keeping me going! 

Thursday, September 30, 2021

September - Find a Routine and ABUSE It

Five paintings a week, what was I thinking?  That idea, plus our neighborhood in-person art show (Oct 1st) pretty much devoured the whole month!   Really challenged myself and hope the inspiration lasts. I'm absolutely sure the looming show helped out a TON. Feeling pretty tapped out, but the days spent varnishing, tagging, framing, etc. for the show has kept me busy and distracted (which helps refuel creativity - yay).  

Click on the collage and you'll be whisked off to my gallery (new tab) to get the backstories, zoom-in detail, and purchase options.  Shipping is free! 

September Collage 

The show is posted on Instagram and Facebook with details (10/1 5-7 PM), don't be late it's happy hour only.  There are 15 neighborhood artists (see tags) in the show this year - come check it out! This is a great time to buy Johnna Art - see it in person, neighborhood discount and framed (at my bulk cost).  

Four paintings (Spanish Wall, Royal Blue Silver, Golden Tranquility and Beach Glass) are now in scattered Virginia homes.  Always makes me happy and motivated to keep painting!   

Gotta run - more show prep is desperately needed!

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - as always thank you for your purchases and for stopping by,  

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

August - Find a Routine and Stick to It

Last month's Mid Summer challenge was inspiring and leveraged some of the Happy Habits workshop lessons, so in August when everyone was getting ready for school to start -- I decided to start my own "new routine challenge." The idea is five paintings a week, but to do them Saturday thru Wednesday and then spend the rest of the week doing all the work needed for social media, publishing, and coming up with the next week's inspiration.  The painting days feel much more natural to me and it seems people are more into instagram, facebook and buying art on the weekends.  Genius!  

Things kicked off in mid-August, so ten paintings and I'm thinking that might be too much and of course there will be weeks when some things just don't work out.  We'll see.  

Click on the collage and you'll be whisked off to my gallery (new tab) to get the backstories, zoom-in detail, and purchase options.  Shipping is free! 

August Collage 

The more recent paintings have yet to be released, so keep checking back to the gallery or follow me on Instagram to get a heads up.  Did you know instagram can be used on a computer, not just smart phones. Oh, and subscribe to this newsletter (top right corner - Sign up for email updates!) to automatically receive monthly posts in your inbox. 

Two of the July paintings (Taste of Summer and Sweet!) are now in North Carolina homes.  Always makes me happy and motivated to keep painting!   

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - as always thank you for stopping by,  

Friday, July 30, 2021

July - Mid Summer Challenge

Great timing for a summer 30 day art throw-down despite life’s challenges!  Be sure to check out all the artists in The Miller's #30midsummer Hashtag Challenge on Instagram.  Thrilled that I managed to do a few paintings and adored the weekly motivations, but . . . . life is challenging too.  Here's a collage of the results - just click on the picture and you'll be taken to my gallery to get the backstories, zoom-in detail and purchase options.  Shipping is free! 

Have to mention a couple of firsts.  The grey heron in action begged me to paint it (wet birds & wet fish, you know).  Love how the reference photo was backlit.  Hopefully captured some of the drama in the moment.  Last minute hummingbird came out really well and getting a lot of Instagram likes and comments.  The pie looks good enough to eat, but "I'm just not a pie-person," said my five year old niece many years ago. I wonder if that's still true, now that she's all grown up?

Happy to report that the flamingo literally flew off the canvas to a home nearby.  I think the turquoise challenge influenced more than a few subsequent choices.  ha ha.  Most recent to earliest, way better images when you click on the photo:

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - thank you for stopping by,  

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

June - Jumping Around

What!?! another month zoomed by - pardon the pun since we're all still in a love-hate relationship with zoom.  It has been a life-saver for staying in touch with family and fantastic for exploring workshops and so many unexpected venues. But so glad today to finally meet up in person with other artists!  Exhilarating and stressful - putting on real clothes, driving, arriving on time, geez so much spent energy but again absolutely intoxicating - life!!!

Anyway, here are this month's paintings. The last few are from a virtual challenge to paint summer themes for 30 days -- sometimes you really need someone else to call the shots for inspiration and I have to wholeheartedly thank Debbie and Brian Miller for this Mid-Summer Challenge.  I love their artwork and actually got to meet them at a workshop in NC before COVID - Incredible!!!  Small World.  Delightful!

Before the challenge paintings -- love wrought iron and capturing the coolness / heat of cactus - a favorite!

Escape the Estate Fence
click to zoom / purchase

Crumbling Wall
click to zoom / purchase

The 30MidSummer Challenge - way behind, but really hoping to catch up and do more of these challenges - a lot of great ideas and inspiration.  Summer whites, turquoise and pink flamingos - what's not to like?

click to zoom / purchase

Enjoy, life is joy we make one moment at a time - thank you for following my journey.  


Monday, May 31, 2021

May - New RSS Feed and Update

More changes - haven't we been through enough already!

This post is to change email distribution from Feedburner (being decommissioned by Google) to Mail Chimp - probably won't matter to you, but be sure to add this sending email address to your contacts list. If you don't see a monthly blog email around the end of the month, please check your Junk/Spam email and authorize the sender.  Thanks, and so very much appreciated!

Haven't been in a painting mood lately, so trying new things like the palette knife -  so liberating and challenging at the same time.  Love / Hate relationship is where we are right now, but in hot pursuit of the happy zone.  Love how these turned out.  First up is 99% palette knife with loads of paint, best to zoom below to see it up close.  

click to zoom / Purchase
Waiting for You

Thin and thick paint helps make this next one seem like the roses are leaping off the canvas.  So much yin/yang energy literally drove the title on this one. Combination of brush, scratches and palette knife.  Looks to me like an understudy waiting for their moment in the spotlight . . . 

click to zoom / purchase
I'm Next!

Thanks for hanging in there with me and I hope this switch doesn't cause any problems.  Email / reply if you have questions. 



Wednesday, May 5, 2021

April - Recovery and Good News

In a bit of a slump lately - maybe the blues from not getting all my submissions into the Mill show, but wildly delighted and surprised that two sold on the Very First Day!  Usually I have to go back and humbly pick up the paintings, so this is quite fabulous and hopefully generate some more painting enthusiasm!

Art Show (Online) and the sold paintings.  

Daffodils for You
Blue Bowl with Tangerine

Finished these paintings late last month and a few in April. Made a collage - all, but the Blue Bowl are available.  Beach House anyone?

click to zoom / purchase

Current inspiration thanks to DH and the Blue Bowl w/Lemon, is to pick up the palette knife and "do some damage!"  Well that project seems to be working out.  When you surprise yourself, you are truly delighted!  Really appreciate the push and hope to do even more like the painting below - mostly palette knife (my Daddy would be proud), I even used his knife for part of it.

click to zoom
Into a Tuscan Courtyard

Well the same DH, just had to have it, so he shall!  Just between us, I couldn't imagine parting with this one.  Hope it inspires a new wave of enthusiasm, creativity and all out motivation!

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

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

March - Showtime x Three!

Every now and then I enter a show or sale which requires a massive amount of extra work - framing, pricing, entry paperwork, drop-offs, and way too many decisions.  This month three events piled on.  

Art at the Mill Spring 2021 - Burwell-Morgan Mill, Boyce VA 

April 24th - May 9th

Huge juried show with hundreds of artists.  It will be different because of Covid, but the up-side is they are also doing a virtual site!  Excited about that part.  Here are my entries complete with frames which I'm trying to "perfect match" to the painting. Apparently that makes a big difference, but yet another expense, decision, and timing "knot" to unravel.

Click Photos to zoom

Etc! Round Hill, VA 

Also discovered a local shop run by artists who open the last weekend of the month and invite other artists to show their work.  Happy they included several of my paintings to celebrate spring.  While nothing sold, I am looking forward to working with them in the future.  After a major disaster with the black frames I normally use, tried some white ones and like them a lot plus they worked much better at the store - Etc! Round Hill.  Now a few in my DPW the gallery have the new frames included.

Sunlit Daffodils
click to zoom / purchase

River Creek Art Show - Virtual Spring 2021

Finally, the neighborhood art club committee decided to do another virtual show for Spring.  Lot's of computer work for me to get everything loaded and working, but here it is to be launched April 9th.  Also got the go-ahead to do our in-person show in October (What??? another show???) 

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


Sunday, February 28, 2021

Happy Habit of Painting Every Day

What seemed like a delightful challenge kicking off 2021 has turned into a boot-camp!

Maybe surprising but I love boot-camps - you just get excited and find the energy to go for it, quickly letting go of any perfectionism, deadline management, or literally anything else that gets in the way of just getting through the camp (i.e. dinner, chores, ha ha).  Okay this one doesn't trap you physically, but it has become the daily FOCUS.  

The idea of creating a habit is being rigorous about keeping a schedule, commitment, and focus --- then repeating it enough that it just "sticks."  Funny that we have so many "habits" we don't even think about - brushing your teeth, having the same thing for breakfast, taking out the trash . . . .  Why not create a habit for painting everyday?  Sounds reasonable.  But no matter what, it's tough because creativity is not toothpaste, but we're definitely gonna figure out how to make it so! 

Another key aspect of habit forming is reward - for me that's coming up with a painting I want to share with others and hopefully connect enough that someone "has to have it."  Blows me away every single time.  But guess what, the ANTICIPATION of achieving that goal is what makes you stick to the habit, not the outcome.  Light-bulb 💡moment!

Anyway - this virtual workshop is to paint everyday for 30 minutes just to get the habit entrenched.  So here is the outcome - the 30 minute hack-jobs, a couple of decent stabs, and the joy of reflecting on my art journey in this blog.  You know us Type A's gotta do it.  As always, thank you for hanging in there with me.  

Here they are - all together

The second row, challenge to paint and count the strokes - 40, 30, 20, 14 strokes - the first photo is the painting and the counting. fun.  Other paintings mostly 30 minutes. Last one is one I forgot to post a long time ago - wadda gonna do with an empty square?  Excellent group of fellow artists from coast to coast, championed by Monica Linares.  Highly recommend. 

Finally - local art show is coming up so I painted a very special one.  Rather proud of it and hope it sells.  

Veggies on Parade
Oil on canvas

Enjoy! Life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Saturday, January 30, 2021

Wrapping Up January

Enjoying a little lull after the January "10 paintings in two weeks" challenge - charging up for a February workshop with Monica Linares - The Happy Habit (how great is that?). The workshop is one day a week, but I suspect there's going to be LOTS of homework. Stay tuned. Did someone say d-a-i-l-y? yikes

It has been a great month:
an awesome challenge, a couple of paintings sold, daily blogging, and a lot more painting enthusiasm than I've had in a long time. Happy Girl, bring it on 2021!

What's new

Sweet thoughts (macarons anyone?) and perfect Valentine gifts - Perhaps a toast to romance later in the day with this painting that says so much without a word. ;-)

Valentine's Day - Memory
click to zoom / purchase

Long time since I've painted birds - added a feeder upstairs so I could watch their happy frolicking while getting ready for the day. Perhaps the theme now should be Outside My Window. Geez this pandemic thing has gone on too long, but hanging in there and staying safe. At least I can see others fly. . . .

Say What?
click to zoom / purchase
Wet and Wild
click to zoom - but sold way fast?

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

Friday, January 15, 2021

2021 8 - 9 - 10 Challenge Finale

Whew - forgot how much focus is needed to do a daily challenge - this one was so much better as we took the weekend off and painted five days, break and five more days.  Blogging, posting and all the other work takes a back-seat so catching up for the last three days.  Where does the time go?  Anyway a couple up for sale and one quick pic to close things out for now.

Just love the boldness of these flowers that take center stage, but still leave room for a cup of coffee, fruit and the famous croissants!  #8

Peonies in Paris
click to zoom / purchase

A little break to explore the idea of "too close" literally eye-level, face-to-face still life. Loved painting this one. Wine, cheese and globe grapes - perfect for the transition from work to play.  Now looking for more inspiration reference photos. #9

Too Close
click to zoom / purchase
Photo reference - Viacheslav (Russian photographer) 

One more balcony - just finished and working on a title - any ideas?  Lovely view.  This reference had a balcony with wrought iron - but it just seemed like a time to skip the "inside-out" feel and just be open to the Parisian rooftops across the way.  Quick pic #10.  Official photo & links coming soon.

??? I Need a Title.

Lastly, feeling geared up for next month's The Happy Habit of Daily Painting Workshop.  I hope this challenge and refocus will make the class doubly worthwhile.  More to come. 

This one has a new home.

Poppy and Bud - Northern AL

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

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2021 7 of 10 In a Fog

New day perspective when everything seems a bit off and the sky is filled with heavy mist, but the sun is up and shining. You know the blue sky will be there after your first cup of coffee. If only you could just wait.  

The tall / little pastry is called Canelés de Bordeaux. A small cake flavored with rum and vanilla with a soft and tender custard center and a dark, thick caramelized crust. Yum!

Morning Perspective in Paris
click to zoom / purchase

Not quite as dark in person, but so much fun painting a different pastry, but who can pass up a croissant?  Captivated by this bold wrought iron and the perspective as it leads you from left to right. 

Nightfall official - zoom/purchase link

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

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

2021 Oops 6 of 10 - Crazy Day & Too Close

Painting is one thing, but success involves social media which is somewhat time consuming and frankly I'm out of practice!  So this painting is actually # 6 of 10 with the official photo and links.  The last blog was catching up with more of the same, updated links.  

Week two of the painting challenge  -- All excited, prepped the next three paintings over the weekend, and so relaxed -- but then the day got way ahead of me and had to "punt" to the less complicated one.  Had the idea that a series called "Too Close" might be interesting as the quarantine continues and the four-walls (are definitely) getting closer. . .   This reference photo just begged me to go for it, so consider the new series launched! Not to worry tho two balconies are on deck.

Blue Bowl with Tangerine
click to zoom / purchase

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

photo reference Viacheslav (Russian Photographer) - free registration Paint My Photo

Monday, January 11, 2021

2021 6 of 10 More

Weekend to rejuvenate and get ready for another five.  Feel a bit more organized, but also have a list of to-dos this week.  Hopefully all will go smoothly.  Love being back in the groove and have to thank Kate Williams for providing the incentive.  

Recent postings - professional photos, purchase info, and available . . . .

Good Morning 
click to zoom / purchase

En Terrasse with Tea
click to zoom / purchase

Breakfast on the Avenue
click to zoom / purchase

Sold two over the weekend. Nothing creates incentive like having a few sales.  

Late Afternoon - NC
Summer Heat - VA to NC lake house

Life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Friday, January 8, 2021

2021 5 of 10 Nightfall

Sunset on the balcony - pink sky and dark shadows at the foot of the Eiffel tower.  Someday I will try to get the nerve to actually paint the tower.   This is from a reference photo I love because it is in the late sunset / early evening.  Challenging colors, but fun.  Got a really late start today and realized the blog is out of sync with the five painting days.  Guess it will catch up too.


Happy to say the first painting of 2021 has sold and on the way to North Carolina.  A sweet memory shared between artist and patron.  Funny how favorites sometimes linger and others don't.  I may have to start painting windows again!

German Window

Life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Thursday, January 7, 2021

2021 4 of 10 Quirky

Not sure what to say about this one - other than I really need to find simpler subjects!  But I just loved this quirky ironwork.  Asymmetrical, curves, lines - oh my!  Shiny objects too . . . .  

Anyway what a challenge and that's what this 10 in 2 is all about.  Have learned that I need to set up the idea for the next day otherwise it turns into a day of reference photo surfing.  Will just have to cross my fingers for tomorrow.  TGIF!

Terrasse Petit Déjeuner

Life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2021 3 of 10 January 6th

What a day. Speechless.  Living near DC has it's "front-row seat" challenges - both good and not so good. Such an incredibly sad day. 

Luckily started this one yesterday evening and managed to get through it somehow today.  No Words, Only Hope for Tomorrow.

Tea time with OJ in one of those deep-cut-crystal glasses.  Super fun making that happen, but not sure it looks like a breakfast drink (mimosa in disguise?).  Anyway, can you see yourself lounging snug-as-a-bug on this patio with a pot of tea?  

Quick pic - A different kind of ironwork. I have one of these cast iron teapots and used it for years.  A delightful Zen moment no matter what the day brings.

How fun was it painting a pillow - i may have to find more. . . .  

Life is joy we make one moment at a time,

Tuesday, January 5, 2021

2021 2 of 10 Late Afternoon

Okay getting back into the groove.  Forgot how wonderful it is to paint, despite all the hurdles between desire and final product.  Life's a journey tho, so let's get on with it.  

Paris rooftops are amazing - their own form of art.  I think they are made of zinc and take on all sorts of interesting blues in the sun, shade, age, weather, morning, evening, etc.  Impossible to render, but maybe a glass of champagne will fix that!

Again, quick snapshot, real photo and posting for purchase to come in a day or two.

Late Afternoon - Salut!

Life is joy we make one moment at a time

Monday, January 4, 2021

2021 Rough Start 1 of 10

Kicking off the 2021 daily painting/blogging for two weeks project.  Apparently not painting since August is having quite an impact - why did I think I could just start where I left off?  Feels like I've forgotten everything!  Note to self, let's pick something much simpler going forward. . . . 

Regardless, I'm still in love with French balconies and wrought iron. I love how this one looks like a heart - each one inspires something different.  It's quite a challenge as now I have to merge references for the background, the wrought iron, and the "still life" since I've run out of inspiration photos. Always worth the extra effort.  

Here's the result - quick snapshot, real photo and posting for purchase to come in a day or two.  Loving this challenge despite the initial frustration.  

Good Morning 2021

In all honesty, I started last night. Total mess.  So today I decided to finish it rather than do something simple. So glad!  

Life is joy we make one moment at a time

Friday, January 1, 2021

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While you're here be sure and check out all the side-bar options on this page.  Some things you will see links for:

  • Art into Accessories where various items are now on throw pillows, aprons, etc.
  • Rolling gallery of the latest paintings
  • Quick links to Facebook, featured artist, etc. 
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