Monday, August 25, 2014

Art: Pleasing Imperfections



This painting has been quite a challenge for me and I’ve learned a few things I find quite interesting.  The more imperfections I caused it to have the more I seemed to like it.

Here’s what it looked like to begin with…..

DSCF2080 (734x800)

For some reason it just bothered me and I couldn’t figure out why.  It wasn’t a perfect square outline, which I like the imperfection there.  I sat back and studied it for awhile and decided it was the light blue clouded area, the outline was just too perfect.  I worked awhile on it and just couldn’t get that perfect outline off of the painting.

I knew what I was going to have to do to make this painting more pleasing to look at, but I just kept putting it off.  I was afraid after all my hours of work on it that I was really going to mess it up when I started sanding it.  But that’s what I wanted to do and that’s what I did.  The more I sanded it the better I liked it.  Sometimes those hard lines need a lot of elbow grease and sand paper to get them out.  I’m thinking the same can be said for out lives.

On the painting:

To create this painting use three pieces of old wood prepared with two coats of white gesso and lightly sanded.  To achieve the colors use these for the rose – Apple Barrel by Plaid Acrylic , Pale Daffodil, Bright Yellow and White.

For some of the darker areas on the rose use  Staedtler watercolor pencil No. 16

For the wispy stems on the small white flowers use English Ivy Green acrylic paint again by Apple Barrel Plaid.

Use the same green for the stem and foliage on the rose along with Lime Tree and White by Apple Barrel Plaid.

The sky was achieved by mixing Aple Barrel Plaid Acrylic Paint, Turquoise and White.

Using a paper doily stencil, create a light layer using Turquoise and white to dab the design on around the outside edges.

I hope you enjoy giving this a try.


I was wondering if God looks at our lives in the same fashion; standing back and studying about just exactly what we might need to help us become more pleasing to Him.  What might He do next in our lives to bring about a more positive or pleasing result?

Like this painting, I have had quite a bit of sanding and, I might add, chiseling too.  I am glad that God knocked me down several notches and shook “stuff” out of me that wasn’t pleasing to Him.  Now that we have established what I should not be doing, God and I are working on what I SHOULD be doing.

Happy Painting!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Art: Put Reality Into Your Paintings



These butterflies are real!  Oh yes, they are.  Because I love the butterfly so much, when someone finds one they give them to me.  Sometimes they are whole and sometimes not.  But they are always lifeless.  What better way to bring them back to life and give them another chance to grace us with their beauty, than to put them in a painting true to their surroundings.

This wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  Although first dissappointed, it became apparent that they were going to need a little touch up.

I began by painting in the background on my canvas using acrylic paint and then painted the flowers and the grass.

Using an exacto knife and tweezers the wings were removed from the body.  Afraid the delicate wings wouldn’t take much moving around, I used the knife and tweezers to place them in different positions on the canvas to decide where they would be most appealing.  Using Plaid Matte Mod Podge with water mixed in it, I applied it to the area on the canvas for the first bottom wing.  Carefully moving the wing I placed it on top of the Mod Podge.  It was all more forgiving than I expected, but still working very carefully, I pressed gently with my fingers, then applied a coat of Mod Podge on top of the wing.  Each wing was done this way.  One wing at a time.

There were a few parts missing on the butterflies so I took acrylic paint and painted the missing pieces in.  You can’t really see it.  The right bottom wing on the black butterfly was missing a bit, the yellow butterfly was missing some on the right bottom wing.  The brown butterfly (or moth) was in tack except the body and antenna, I had cut them away on all the butterflies and had to replace them.

The dissappointment came when the Mod Podge had dried, it left the butterfly darker and some of the colors were no longer vivid.  As I began touching up flowers and adding more and adding more grass I decided to try a little watered down paint on the wings to see if it helped them.  Not much was needed.  It was like giving them a drink of water.  Since they accepted paint well, I decided to highlight them and even put some blades of grass and cone flower petals on top of them.

All in all, I’m pretty satisfied with this idea and can’t wait for friends to give me more butterflies.  They would look great on old wood.  I’m thinking they would also be easier to apply to something a bit harder than this stretched canvas.

To finish the piece, paint a coat of Mod Podge on top of the entire canvas being careful not to put too much pressure on the butterfly wings.

You should try this for yourself on a wood board for ease.  Let me know if you do.

Happy Painting

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Art: A Little More Research




I was under the assumption that art was just painting pictures.  But, it seems I was a bit mistaken. There are quite a few things you have to do to prepare for the painting and also to finish the piece if you are the unconventional type.

Because of that erroneous assumption, you know thinking things were just cut and dried, sometimes I just dive into painting only to wish I had of done this or had of done that.  Now, I’m not saying those thoughts won’t come anyway, even if you are the most meticulous planner, but it might help cut down some of the time you spend having to make corrections on your creations.

When someone challenged me to paint a fish, I began my usual research for photos of my subject.  As I looked through the photos, I found a very clear picture of a fishe that I thought I could use and manage to get some detail.  I already knew that there would be water, sky and land and had decided pretty much on my color scheme.

I was really giving myself credit for actually sketching out the fish first before I started painting.  But, what I failed to do was to stand back and study it a moment.  I just started painting.  Needless to say the finished product was not appealing to me at all.  The more I looked at it, I knew that the fish and the splashes of water would have to go or I couldn’t give this away to anyone.  Here is what it looked like…….

                                                   DSCF2053 (800x378)

The fish was way to big, the colors weren’t right and the water splashes were really bad.  I was ashamed.  Then I realized that I can’t just look at one photo of a fish.  If I want to paint a large mouth bass, I should research them, make sure the colors are the same, find out what they really look like before diving in and just painting it.  I should plan out my paintings a little more carefully, putting more thought into the process.  If I knew my fish and painted fish everyday it might have been a bit easier.  When someone challenges you to do something that doesn’t come as easy as what you normally do, then we need to educate ourselves.  Put a bit of extra time into it.

So after much studying on water splashes and much time comparing photos of large mouth bass, after sanding out the first fish and regrouping, here’s what it turned out like………………



There are still some problems, but overall it’s much better.  Now, if I had just planned a little more I would know what to put in this picture on the left, because it’s empty since I sanded boss bass out of the water.

Last week I sawed a painting down to size to fit the only frame I had for it.  This week I’m sanding 1/3rd of the picture away.  What’s next?

Painting notes:

I used Plaid Apple Barrel paint on old wood boards.  The boards are nailed together on the back side using wood slats.  The boards were sanded, then two coats of ProArt Premium Gesso canvas primer was applied and sanded just a bit more.

Spiritual notes:

Sometimes I feel like God is sanding and sawing things away on me that need to be corrected.  The more we study His Word and do our research, it’s possible we might “get it” before we let things get to messy.  Anyway it’s worth a try.  Some of us just have to mess up to learn it seems.  Is it because we haven’t done our research?  It might cut down on some of the time we spend trying to undo the messes we make.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Art: It’s a Business too!



                                             My business card



It’s kind of hard to believe that in the time I could have gotten an entire painting done or at least a good start on one all I did was design and lay out a business card, letterhead and write an artist statement.  Oh, I guess I should mention that I was also able to print them out, which was not an easy chore in itself.

I did not grow up with computers, but I think they are quite wonderful for those of us who are on the creative side, to be able to do things for ourselves.  If it wasn’t for computers and in home printers, well I would have had to take everything somewhere and possibly not have it for several days.  Even though it took me all day, I did finally accomplish the tasks.

I needed the letter head for the artist statement that I will have to have when I show my art.  I needed the business cards to hand out to possible customers and to those who buy art from me.  I have needed those for sometime, but I was too busy actually painting pictures to do any of the business side of this business of art.

Sometimes we do get too busy doing all the things we think we should be doing and only involve ourselves with the most enjoyable parts.  But God says in Luke 16:10 He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.

So we are to place just as much importance on the tedious, small, mundane things and care for them as much as we do the larger, seemingly more important things.  That’s hard to do sometimes.

It seems to take just as much of our time to do those less enjoyable, tedious, important things that just don’t seem to add up so fast, that just don’t seem to make as much of a show and give that sense of accomplishment as it does those things that seem more important. 

But for one days work, I’ve got business cards that I can print out whenever I need them, they are saved on my computer; I’ve got a pretty decent artist statement that I can print and use whenever I need it.  And it’s done, and I am so glad.  Strangely, I AM experiencing a sense of accomplishment now that I think about it.

And here is my artist statement that goes with each one of my paintings that will be displayed:



I have lived in and moved away from Tennessee several times, but I always seem to come back to the inspiration of the rolling hills, blooming flowers and wildlife of this heavenly area of the world.

Art is my avenue to fight negativity. I thoroughly enjoy nature and the beauty God has given us through His creation. Trying to duplicate that beauty is a challenge I love to lose myself in. Painting on canvas brings much pleasure, but I find that painting on wood brings a more satisfying experience and finished piece. Old wood just seems to tell stories to me as I paint. If I could use old barn wood or fencing to paint on for the rest of my life, I’d be one happy artist.

During the years of single parenting, I managed to illustrate a children’s book, (“Scamper Squirrel Goes to Camp”), paint several portraits in pastel and was commissioned for pieces by individuals according to their specifications. I have also painted baptistery murals, and designed T-shirts as well as logos. All this was, at the time, just to help make ends meet. At present I am freely painting what I love and the beauty I see, hoping that it is beautiful to others as well.

I have learned to work in pastel, watercolor, pencil, acrylics, oils and colored pencil. I enjoy painting flowers and trees, landscapes, rustic subjects, wildlife, butterfly’s, still life, encouraging and happy pictures for children and the drama of the sky. I call it “art from the heart”.

Please visit my art page at where I regularly post my work. Or visit me on my blog at to read about the inspiration behind each painting or illustration I complete. I hope you enjoy my art.

ARTIST: Teresa Haynes Johnson

TITLE OF PAINTING OR ILLUSTRATION_________________________________________________


SIZE_________________ MEDIA____________________ ____________________ _________________

PRICE ____________


There is my days work all on this page.  Hope you enjoyed it!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Art: Saw Your Painting




This was one of the first paintings I tried on lace.  There were things I liked about it and things I didn’t.  I thought that because it was lace, I needed to have it behind glass for it to last.  We think lace is delicate, I found out differently when I took a big risk.

I am preparing for an art show, trying to get everything together and in frames.  I wanted to include this particular piece, but here is the way it was framed.

laceycloudsbordered 3428x2798


And it was behind a piece of glass.  For some strange reason, I just don’t like my work behind glass.  I found a frame I thought would look nice but, it was a bit smaller than my picture.  This lace is stretched over the top of canvas hardboard, so the only way I could crop it to go into the frame was by sawing it.  I swallowed pretty hard, made my marks and began sawing.   


DSCF2062 (800x597)

Strangely enough, the hardest part of it all was getting through the lace which in no way could be separated from the the canvas or the painting would be ruined.

This is what I got for taking the chance:

DSCF2064 (800x667)

Sometimes it’s worth taking a risk.


This piece was also too big for the frame I picked out, but it is on stretched canvas.  Not a problem.


DSCF2018 (800x597)


I just took the knife and cut it off from the backside of the stretcher strips it was stretched onto.   After figuring out where I wanted to cut, I just marked it and cut.  Afterwards, I re-stretched it onto hard board, taped it and framed it.  I actually cut a couple inches off the height and a couple off the width.  This is what I ended up with:


DSCF2066 (800x643)


As I was doing all this sawing and cutting, I was thinking…………………….

Sometimes you may think it would be so nice to be able to cut away pieces of your past, those things you did that hurt someone else and even those things that damaged your own life and self-esteem.  As hard as it may seem, we have to be able to forgive ourselves and move on.  If God can forgive us then we surely should be able to forgive ourselves.

He can wipe away our tears and forget our wrongs.  He will give us opportunity after opportunity to get it right.  He doesn’t require us to use a saw or a knife, all we have to do is simply ask for His help and believe that He will do what He has promised.  Of course this won’t erase the memories, but He can help us to rise above it all.


Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.