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.

Ink Embellishments and Photographing Neon

Hi there. How are you? As promised, here are the 3 abstracts I started last week, all now embellished with ink. I approached each one a little bit differently.

All that's left to do now is to apply several coats of satin varnish each piece. The varnish protects the paper from UV rays, water, and dirt. I often photograph pieces prior to adding he varnish, as it's slightly reflective quality makes it even trickier to photograph these.

Speaking of photographing, it took me a whole afternoon to get decent photographs of these pieces. It is really difficult to photograph or scan neon hues like the orange I used in these pieces. Cameras and scanners just don't know how to interpret larger than life neon colors.

This is what happens when I scan these pieces. The scanner just washes out the color completely. Yuck! Even with some major color correction in Photoshop, I can't get the colors right.

My digital manual camera does better, but I still have to manipulate the images, and even then they don't look quite right.  Anyone out there have any trick to capturing neon accurately?

Until I figure out the neon game, I guess you'll just have to come and see these pieces in person! My summer art fair schedule is filling up. Here's the tentative schedule of where you can find me this summer. Ta-Ta for now!

Weekly iPhoneography

Hi! How are you?

It was a pretty week in Southern Illinois....Kinda hard to believe it's November!

My parents came down for a visit. We took a walk around Campus Lake at SIU. 

Matt on one of the many "diving" boards that dot the lakeshore. 

Matt made Mexican style pickled vegetables. Heavenly!

Have a great rest of the week. Ta-Ta!