Artist M. Jane Johnson uses bold color and forms in her abstract work. Enjoy her art, and visit her website to see more of her portfolio.
I have loved art since I was a small child when I would recycle my father’s work papers with my drawings. I spent hours drawing and started taking oil painting class when I was 7 years old. While I seriously thought about going to school for architecture, I ended up majoring in art, receiving a BFA with a focus in drawing and painting. I was able to go to Italy several times during college and loved sitting on the street corners drawing all of the wonderful scenes around me.
Years flew by and I would still do some things with my art, but worked in drafting and then moved on the sales. My drawings can be found in the Junior League of Richmond’s Virginia Seasons cookbook, and I illustrated a workbook for the young patients at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. I also took classes and workshops at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia.
While I had painted representationally for years, one of the workshops open my eyes of the possibilities of mixed media paintings. It was love at first paint stroke. I found that mixed media allowed me to combine my love of painting, drawing, and colorful patterns into one piece of art.
My worked quickly started getting into shows and getting recognition. Having a strong eye for color, I was able to create paintings with a bold, beautiful color sense. I turned my love of architecture into a building process of creating my paintings, making them my own “construction projects.” Each process driven painting is textural and has strong lines that flow through the works as well.
In 2011, I was commissioned to paint twelve paintings for Children’s National Medical Center’s Heart Clinic. I took this as a sign to stop my dead end sales job and to follow my heart and paint. I have a studio at the Workhouse Arts Center, a historic prison in Lorton, Virginia that was turned into an art center.
I love to take risks with my work and allow the painting to tell me where it wants to go. My work has a bunch of “what if” moments during the creation. I like to push the limits and will often paint a painting, say, “Nope, that is not right,” and paint over it again. If it doesn’t work, it makes a great underpainting.
I use photos as I get closer to completion to help me pull the creative chaos together into a beautiful, cohesive painting. All the layers make the painting rich and interesting. I am a prolific painter, often working on multiple paintings at one time.
My “Geisha Series” was chosen for a coveted 2017 solo show at the Art League in Alexandria, Virginia. I have won numerous awards for my work. I’m seeking gallery representation and also want to work with art consultants to get my work into corporate environments. I enjoy working with interior designers to help them find the right painting for their client’s home.