chair art

Illustrated Stories - A Lawn Chair in Makanda

Hi there. How are you?

In today's edition of "Illustrated Stories", I'm sharing one of my favorite pieces I've ever made. I created this piece in 2013, when I was neck deep in my lawn chair phase.

This mixed-media illustrated chair is constructed with collaged paper and ball-point pen.

This mixed-media illustrated chair is constructed with collaged paper and ball-point pen.

The Story

I came across this chair on the roof top deck of the L.L. Bell building, on the Boardwalk in Makanda, Illinois. When I saw this slightly wonky chair and this scene, I knew it would make for a great mixed-media illustration.

The colors, lines, and textures of the chair, wall, decking, and screen door were screaming to be drawn! I love rendering wood, especially of the old, weathered variety, so I knew this piece was going to be treat to make.

My filtered Instagram shot of lovely chair I spotted in Makanda.

My filtered Instagram shot of lovely chair I spotted in Makanda.

The photo I took in Makanda, that became basis for my illustration.

The photo I took in Makanda, that became basis for my illustration.

I took my source photos for this piece with my iPhone. I am continually amazed at the power of the camera it contains. The iPhone beautifully captures the light, color, and detail of the scene.

My completed mixed-media illustration

My completed mixed-media illustration

Process and Materials

There are four different kinds of paper in this piece. The brick was rendered on a piece of orange patterned paper. The tonal pattern was just subtle enough that it doesn't detract from the overall scene, but instead adds some interest and texture. The decking was crafted out of a gray paper, and the door was drawn on top of a bit of vintage ledger paper. (Can you see the faint blue lines in the white areas of the door?) The chair and the other brown areas were drawn on brown craft paper. I love the soft texture and look of craft paper and it makes its way into many of my pieces.

All of the dark you see here was done with my trusty Bic ballpoint pen. Inking up my pieces is by far my favorite part of my process. Addingthe detail with ink really makes these scenes come to life!

The Title

I've often thought of my chairs as stand-ins for people. If you think of them that way the title "I've Seen" makes sense. The weathered old chair has surely been a silent observer to much up on the roof of this historic building on the Makanda boardwalk.

This piece is way too cool to be sitting on a shelf in my studio. Go on, buy it! Here's the listing:

Original Mixed Media Chair Illustration - I've Seen
175.00 300.00

This is a one of a kind mixed media work that captures a lovely old chair found on a rooftop deck in Makanda, Illinois. Read more about this piece here.

THE DETAILS: The work measures 10" x 8" and is mounted on a 2" deep cradled wooden box. With a small sawtooth hanger on the back, it comes ready to hang or can sit on a ledge or shelf.

Collaged paper, black ball point pen and Prismacolor colored pencils were used the creation of this work. It is finished with a protective UVA/UVB coating and clear varnish, so that the papers won't fade over time and it is water resistant.

The piece bears my initials on the front, and is signed and dated on the back.

THE SHIPPING: Your piece will be wrapped in a handmade fabric bag, carefully packaged in a sturdy box, and inshipped 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.

Please contact me with any questions.

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.

Copyright © Jennifer Johansson
All Rights Reserved.

Add To Cart

That's it for today. Please share this post with someone you think might enjoy my work. Ciao!



Why Chairs?

Hi there. How are you?

One of the last pieces I made before my art-making hiatus was this chair. As my long time readers know, I have a real thing for chairs, and have illustrated them for years. Though this chair series started on a whim, I kept on drawing chairs because I find them profoundly interesting. Chairs have personality and style and often serve as stand-in for people in my work. 

With composition, text and even lighting, a chair can look sad.

Sad Chair Illustrations by Jennifer Johansson

They can be happy and lighthearted too.

Lighthearted Chair Illustrations

Most of all I drew chairs because they were fun to draw.

I like the way I could make them pop off the page with light and shadow. I liked drawing chipped paint and rust, spindles, and cast shadows. I also liked my patron's reactions to them. In the beginning, every chair I produced would sell within a year of it being made. That's really gratifying!

Even though I haven't been drawing chairs so much anymore, I still seek them out and photograph them when I'm out and about.

Here are some of the chairs I've photographed recently.

Abandoned Chair
Scratch Brewery
San Diego Coffee Shop

And here is the chair that inspired my most recent chair illustration.

I took this photo out at the home of our friends Kelley and Tom. I sure do love a good, worn chair! I decided to make the chair red, so that it popped from the background. It felt, good to make a chair again. Like riding a bike, it all came back to me.

This chair piece, entitled " The Livin' is Easy" is now for sale! Click the link below to snatch it up.

And one more thing...

Do you have a special chair that you'd like me to illustrate?  Do get in touch.  I love doing custom pieces.

Ta-Ta for now.

New Lockets!


Hi there. How are you?

I'm really excited and proud of my newest collaboration with the lovely Cat of Polarity
She's created 4 new lockets and a bracelet, all featuring my work. 
Each locket comes with an initial charm and 3 interchangeable magnetic faces. 
That's 3 necklaces for 1 price! Score!


Two of the lockets feature floral designs. 


The other two feature my chair illustrations. 


The chair designs each come with a lid featuring an inspirational message.
This locket is a great reminder to slow down, take our time and just sit with it!


She's also created a bracelet! Cute, isn't it?

All of the new magnetic locket sets and bracelet can be purchased in Cat's Etsy shop.
  They ship directly from Cat's studio in New Jersey and she's ships crazy fast! Hope you love 'em. 
Ta-Ta.