Small Paintings

From time to time, I will make available small paintings for sale.  These may be small, studio pieces or plein air sketches.  Bookmark this page or follow through a blog reader such as Feedly to stay up-to-date!

Creek Rock I 5×7 Oil

Creek Rock I 5x7 Oil

Creek Rock I 5x7 Oil

This was painted along Spring Creek.  Winter has passed, and the snows at higher elevations have melted away, leaving a quiet, clear creek.  I love these quiet moments when you can see the creek bottom, glowing.

To see a larger version or to purchase, click here.

Creek Rock II 5×7 Oil

Creek Rock II 5x7 Oil

Creek Rock II 5x7 Oil

I live at the confluence of two creeks, Oak and Spring.  Unusual for Arizona, these are perennial; that is, they run year-round.  They are a pleasure to walk along and to paint.  They are filled with wildlife.  Herons, turtles, river otters–we’ve got it all.  And depending on time of year, the water varies in flow and depth.  In monsoon season with heavy rains or in springtime with snows melting at higher elevations, the water rushes brown and madly; in drier times of year, when the creeks get lower and lower, the water runs clear and briliant.  Every day is different along the creek.

To see a larger image or to purchase, click here.

West of Sail Rock 9×12 Oil

West of Sail Rock 9x12 oil

West of Sail Rock 9x12 oil

I’ve already written about Sail Rock and its magnificent shadow in a previous post.  Once the morning sun has slimmed down the shadows, the rocks north of uptown Sedona, Arizona, are in very flat light.  All that remains are thin, crisp shadows.  A challenge to paint, but they really reveal the nature of these rocks.

To see a larger version or to purchase, click here.

Desert Juniper 12×9 Oil

Desert Juniper 12x9 Oil

Desert Juniper 12x9 Oil

Junipers (or cedars, depending on where you’re from) are the most common tree you see in the Sedona area.  I like to paint them because the forms are distinct and filled with deep shadow–just the perfect anchor for a landscape.

To see a larger version or to purchase, click here.

In the Shadow 9×12 Oil

In the Shadow 9x12 Oil

In the Shadow 9x12 Oil

Sail Rock dominates the landscape of uptown Sedona.  From the Sedona Heritage Museum, you can get a really good view of it.  I like to paint it in the morning when it casts a long, deep shadow on the rocks beside it.

To see a larger version or to purchase this painting, click here.

Plenty of Parking 9×12 Pastel

Plenty of Parking 9x12 Pastel

Plenty of Parking 9x12 Pastel

Jerome, Arizona, is one of my favorite places to paint.  Lots of old, crumbling buildings sliding down the 30-degree slope or toppling into mine shafts suddenly revealed.  It’s everything a ghost town needs!  What with the galleries and restaurants adding to its reputation, it tends to get “parked up” early in the day.  If you get there before 10, however, there’s plenty of parking.  This pastel shows an empty parking lot.  Not your usual subject matter for a painting, but I really enjoyed painting the play of light and shadow, and warm and cool colors.

To see a larger version and to purchase, click here.

Spring Comes to the Verde River 8×16 Oil

Spring Comes to the Verde River 8x16 Oil

Spring Comes to the Verde River 8x16 Oil

The Verde River in Arizona is one of the few, remaining greenways in the state.  Enjoyed by kayakers and canoeists, the river is home to many native bird species and a welcome haven for migratory birds from all over the Western Hemisphere.

I wrote about painting glare in a recent blog post: http://mchesleyjohnson.blogspot.com/2017/03/painting-glare.html

You can see a larger version and purchase the painting here.

Rushing Waters 8×16 Oil

Rushing Waters 8x16 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

Rushing Waters 8x16 oil

Once a month or so, I paint by Oak Creek at L’Auberge de Sedona, one of Sedona’s best-loved resorts.  I do this on behalf of my gallery, Goldenstein Gallery, which displays some of my larger paintings at the resort.  On this day, the snows were melting up the creek, near Flagstaff, and the waters were really raging.  It was quite something, to sit at the water’s edge and listen to the roar.

You can see a larger version and purchase the painting here.

The Light that Envelopes 9×12 Pastel

The Light that Envelopes 12x9 pastel by Michael Chesley Johnson

The Light that Envelopes 12x9 pastel

In early spring in my community, which borders Oak and Spring Creeks, the water runs a beautiful olive color.  On the other side of Oak Creek, a single sycamore stands, soaking its feet in the damp earth, getting ready to bud.  At this spot, I often see herons, mergansers, wood ducks and mallards.  Not too far from here, I spotted a massive snapping turtle, sunning itself on a spot of dry earth by the water’s edge.  It must have been eighteen inches across.

You can see a larger version of this painting and purchase it at this link.

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