Blue Boat 9×12 Pastel

Blue Boat 9x12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson. Featured in upcoming Pastel Journal article on color palettes for the pastel painter.

Blue Boat 9x12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson. Featured in upcoming Pastel Journal article on color palettes for the pastel painter.

I’ve had the pleasure to be a writer for Pastel Journal almost since its inception, over 15 years ago.  One of the enjoyable aspects is creating demonstrations to illustrate my technical articles.  The articles usually push me in a new direction, and the illustrations are a result of that.  For an upcoming article on color palettes for the pastel painter, I experimented with a “warm/cool” palette of only six colors, plus black and white.  “Blue Boat” is the happy result of that experiment.

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Islands 6×8 Oil

Islands 6x8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Landscapes, maritime paintings, plein air painting workshops in the US and abroad Michael Chesley Johnson

Islands 6x8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Landscapes, maritime paintings, plein air painting workshops in the US and abroad Michael Chesley Johnson

One of my favorite spots is Cranberry Point in the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.  The Duck Islands run out in a train from the point, creating a beautiful, linear design that is beautiful at any tide.

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Brining Shed (McCurdy Smokehouse, Lubec Maine) 9×12 Pastel

Maritime History: Brining Shed (McCurdy's Smokehouse, Lubec, Maine) 9x12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson. Landscapes, maritime paintings, plein air painting workshops in the US and abroad Michael Chesley Johnson.

Maritime History: Brining Shed (McCurdy’s Smokehouse, Lubec, Maine) 9x12 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

The brining shed in Lubec, Maine, is part of the historic McCurdy’s Smokehouse complex, now owned by Lubec Landmarks.  The group is trying to preserve these buildings, but this shed seems about to be taken away by the next storm.  At low tide, you can see the beautifully organic arrangement of pilings, draped by dark seaweed.

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Tide’s Out 5×9 Pastel

Tide's Out 5x9 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

Tide’s Out 5x9 Pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

This little view of Con Robinson’s Point in the Roosevelt-Campobello International Park on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada, is one of my favorites. When the tide’s out, this little hill stands all by itself with its clump of spruces and firs.  Every year, a tree or two gets taken out by a winter storm.  I expect some year to see this little hill bald before long.

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Quiet Time 6×8 Oil

Quiet Time 6x8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

Quiet Time 6x8 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

This is one of my favorite spots to paint on Campobello Island, especially at low tide.  The spruce-clad ledges point off to the southeast, and at their feet lays a vast expanse of gravel and mud.  The far part of this beach has blanketed by an intensely green marsh grass; it must be very tolerant to salt, as it is submerged half the day.  I love this “glare” effect where the ledges are backlit, throwing the spruces into deep shadow–a wonderful contrast for that bright green patch.

For a larger image and more detail, please click here.