abstract drawings

Vacation Inspired Art

Hi there. How are you?


We recently returned home from a lovely 10-day vacation.

Traveling to Tampa, Florida, Matt (my husband) and I embarked on a 5-day cruise with a group of old friends. We witnessed the beach wedding of our friends while docked in Key West. (Matt served as officiant!) From there we headed to Cozumel, and back to Tampa.

After the cruise, we drove down to Naples, Florida and spent a few relaxing days visiting Matt's parents in their winter home.

Ten days of sun, sea, and leisure does wonders for my psyche.

In the words of my Dad, "It didn't suck."

My vacation drawing was influenced by the tropical color palette of my travels.

My vacation drawing was influenced by the tropical color palette of my travels.

Our tropical travels inspired this drawing.

My sketchbook comes with me everywhere I go, especially on vacation. Though this trip was packed with activity, I did manage to get in a little drawing time. I drew out by the pool on cruise days and in the Schooner bar when we had our pre-dinner cocktails. If I don't get in a little drawing most days, I just don't feel right.

As you can see, the tropical colors of my travels inspired the "bird of paradise" color scheme. I had intended to use this drawing as the backdrop for a new card design, but I haven't decided how to use it yet. (Thoughts?)

My vacation drawing is available as a print. Click through to purchase.

My vacation drawing is available as a print. Click through to purchase.

My vacation drawing is available as a new 8" x 10" print.

Here's the print, shown mocked up in a frame. Doesn't it look sharp? This print, along with several others is now available for sale on my website. These vibrant, abstract prints are sure to give a little pop of personality and color to your space.

That's all for now. I've gotta get busy making! Ciao.

New Work, but Now What?

Hi there. How are you?

Just over a month ago, I set out to make some new original pieces. I was dying to make something new, something abstract and intuitive. Here are some of the pieces I've made:

I'm really happy with these pieces and I have enjoyed the process of making them. They're very "me" and I plan to continue to make this type of work. I'm hoping to work with an awesome frame maker acquaintance to get these puppies ready to show and sell.

Now here's the tough part......

How will I market and sell this body of work? I know there is a market for abstract work, but it's probably not the following I have grown over the last 10 years. My current audience is interested in flowers, chairs, birds, and coloring books.

So have I shot my artistic career in the foot by changing direction?

I don't think so, but there is work to do. As much as I tell myself that it's not necessary for me to sell this work, that it's perfectly OK for me just to make art for the sake of it, I know I won't be content with that. I do want to sell this new collection and the real work is going to be finding the audience for it. This is where I'm stumped, or maybe just afraid? I've got to make a plan.

The Midwestern will be a testing ground.

I'm looking forward to heading north in a couple of weeks for the opening of the Midwestern at the Rockford Art Museum. As I mentioned a few weeks back, I've got an abstract piece in the exhibition. It's a big cool deal to be included in this show and being accepted was one of the things that inspired me to make more work like it.  I'm hoping I'll gain some exposure for my current work by having this piece in this well known museum show......It's a way to put my work in front of the right audience.

I know that buyers/galleries aren't going to come looking for me.

I need to do the work, and that work is hard and a little bit scary. But, if I'm going to be an artist who sells work and is successful, I need to make it happen and I need to put myself out there.

What I do know is that I am enjoying making this work. 

I'm enjoying the process much more than I have in a long while. It's meditative work for me and I can do it with very little thinking.  When I'm not making I'm thinking about making. That's a good sign! If I like what I do it shows in my work.

That's all for now. Thank you for continuing to follow me on my artist journey. Ciao!


Illustrated Stories - Gel Pen Obsession

Hi there. How are you?

This is an ongoing series in which I share original artwork from the past and tell their stories. Each piece then goes up for sale in my web shop. Click HERE to read all of the Illustrated Stories posts.

Ok, I admit it. I'm obsessive about my drawing pens. I find something I like and it's the only thing I'll use for a spell. Lately, I can't get enough of the Pilot Precise V7 RT. Before that it was a black Bic ballpoint pen and a Micron pen.

A collection of my favorite drawing implements.

A collection of my favorite drawing implements.

And then there was the white gel pen.

If you've never drawn with a good quality gel pen, you're missing out! The smooth flow of the ink on paper is so damn satisfying! Plus the white ink against a dark background has such a great look. I've tried many different type of gel pens and the "Gelly Roll" pictured above is by far my fave.

Abstract drawings made with white gel pen on dark paper.

Abstract drawings made with white gel pen on dark paper.

Quick Pop of Color

I made these pieces back in the early spring of 2014 in preparation for my appearance at the Art Fair at Laumeier in St. Louis. I needed some large blocks of color to break up a booth of mainly white artwork. Using a doodle technique that I used to teach when I was a high school art teacher, I created these bold but elegant pieces. It is a fun and addictive way to artfully fill a space.

Entitled, "Lucy in the Sky," this piece is sure to bring a pop of color and style to any space.

Entitled, "Lucy in the Sky," this piece is sure to bring a pop of color and style to any space.

When Art Supplies Attack!

I've decided to only list the red version of this piece. The blue piece is bubbling up off of the hardboard panel. Ugh! This is one of the reasons I have stopped mounting pieces in this fashion. The varnish needed to protect the surface can do terrible things to a finished drawing! Water and paper don't mix friends. If I start selling works on paper again, I will be paying someone to frame for me.

Here's the listing. Go buy some art!

Minimalist Abstract Drawing - Lucy in the Sky
70.00 100.00

Add a bold pop of color to your space with this abstract drawing. Read more about this piece HERE.

THE DETAILS: This original drawing measures 10" x 10" was created with a white gel pen on smooth red paper.  It is mounted on a deep 2" cradled hardboard support and coated with a protective UVA/UVB coating, so that the papers won't fade over time. With a saw-tooth hanger on the back, it comes ready to hang or can sit on a ledge or shelf.

THE SHIPPING: Your piece will be wrapped in a handmade fabric bag, carefully packaged in a sturdy box, and shipped to you via USPS mail with insurance and a tracking number. I take great care to make sure my pieces are wrapped and shipped securely.

OTHER INFORMATION: Please be aware that while I do my best to photograph the colors true-to-life, all monitors display colors differently, please allow some variation between what you see on your screen and what you see in real life.

Please contact me with any questions.

Copyright © Jennifer Johansson
All Rights Reserved.

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Until next week. Ciao