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September 2013



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Who would believe these colors...

Who would believe..., originally uploaded by Cathy (Kate) Johnson.

...the other evening I needed desperately to get out of the house...I painted, out at the lake, and then headed home as the sun set. It had been mostly cloudy, but this late in the day the sun broke out from under the clouds and lit the earth with astounding stained-glass colors.

I couldn't stop to paint; the light was changing too rapidly. But I held it in my mind until I got home, and quickly added this page to my handbound journal. I wanted to keep it simple but to capture something of that jaw-dropping color, and so I cleaned my palette and dipped into fresh, intense pigments...

I knew I'd forget the magic in the mundane, if I didn't record it.


beautiful! I see the loveliest skies on the way home from work some evenings.
That's the one thing I miss about not going out of the home to work...we used to see the most magical things going to and from the city. Longeared owls, snow geese, hoarfrost, sunsets...
This is magnificent.
Which of your publications/CD would you recommend "first" to invigorate my journal entries? I've got plenty to learn about painting and drawing in general... but I've lost the "pizazz" I used to feel about journaling.
You know, it depends on what the problem is and what your goal is--or maybe what your journal means to you. Mine is a way of honoring the everyday, noting the passing hours and even celebrating them. I need to do that, whether I'm up or down.

SO...maybe one of my own journal CDs might just be an inspiration. I love to look at other peoples' sketch journals and never fail to be energized. Maybe Drawn from Life, an Artist's Journal, Vol. 1 or 2 (here's 1: http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson.57267959) Both of those have articles on journaling, etc., in addition to my sketches.

The Drawing & Sketching Workshop CD is really 6 illustrated how-to lessons covering a wide range of subjects from landscapes to people, plus various techniques. It's here: http://www.cafepress.com/cathy_johnson.61122724

I'd also highly recommend Hannah Hinchman's first book, A Life in Hand; Creating the Illuminated Journal. It changed the way I kept a journal and never fails to inspire me.

You'll get over the slump! We all have them, I think...


The colours!

You're right. It's magic.

Wendy Shortland

Re: The colours!

I'm so glad I was there to see it, Wendy!


WOW - the Great master artist at work which you captured for us. Skies can be sooooo amazing in the blink of an eye.
And this changed SO quickly. There'd be no way I could have stopped, gotten out my materials, and captured it on the spot...it only lasted minutes!


This is stunning in its simplicity - I could look at this all day...
Thanks, Juj! I was happy with how it turned out, too. One of those little miracles watercolor hands us from time to time, with the trees!


Colours, oh my

SOo beautiful Kate/Cathy. I love your rich flow of colour (as well, of course, as your composition).

Re: Colours, oh my

Thank you! It was just a gorgeous few moments!

on fire

The molten glow of the sun seems to pour out of these trees. Truly an inspired work.

Re: on fire

Thank you, Miss Jana, that's how it looked!
this is really beautiful. I love the flood of water in the tree on the right.
Hi Dee! That really WAS one of those "happy accidents" they talk about!