Artist Karen Johnston shares a portfolio of abstract works created using an intuitive and spontaneous practice. View more paintings on her website.
Listen…put an ear to my paintings and hear the stories I am telling.
Tune your senses to the threads of expression woven into my paint. My work is a sensory release of layers, histories, feelings, and life–mine as well as others, refreshed by nature’s breath. They hold everything and share the narratives that I’ve absorbed, yet to you, they may only brush the fringe of imagination.
Regardless, spend another moment gazing and I promise you’ll find something more. Let your being ease into my world of whimsy, truth and vibrant hope. Search my compositions for a stroke that leads you to your deepest roots, then sweeps you high into another place. Our life experiences differ, yet we overlap in blind emotion–the feelings that glow beyond our edges and cloak themselves in color.
I was raised in a musical household; both parents practicing musicians. My upbringing was rich in the arts. In college I was classically trained, receiving a BFA in illustration and a minor in advertising, eventually rediscovering my passion for the fine arts.
On a path of healing, I began a devoted practice in abstract expressionism, studying under influential artists and mentors along the way. Using acrylic paints and glazes intertwined with elements of collage, pencil, charcoal, pastel and whatever else was needed, I was able to develop my own style of expression, one that held space and grace for restoration and the honest sum of my days.
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With regularity, I use art to synchronize the flow of my head, my heart and my hands and to unify my inner and outer worlds. On the canvas, I experience a sense of renewal, a playful harmony that leaps into life. I meditate and intuitively meander my way through spontaneous conversations of color, texture, line, and shape, adding bits of writing, marks, and rhythm until there is nothing more to say.
Somewhere within that process, the light streams in and guides the work to its conclusion. I am left bearing images of my heart’s own language. I am fascinated how easily life morphs into art and how accurately art reflects the human mystery.
I have spent years offering support to individuals and families who have been touched by cancer and disease through a ministry I developed. Witnessing a powerful spirit of resilience and trust has profoundly influenced my work, as well as my constant relationship with nature and personal journaling.
It is my pleasure to share art-making projects with journeyers and caregivers. I enjoy teaching artists of all levels the process of intuitive abstract painting. I am honored to show my work in galleries, juried exhibitions, community spaces and be part of inspiring collections across the nation.
When my art gets the chance to brighten the walls of healing venues and bring comfort to those in need, I am most fulfilled. Embracing opportunities to create and share my art is my way of tasting joy and watering our world with luminous energy, peace, and light.
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