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!

Spring Creek Rush 9×12 Oil

Spring Creek Rush 9x12 oil

In the winters, I live in a quiet hinterland between Sedona and Cottonwood, Arizona.  It’s in a lush riparian area at the confluence of Oak and Spring Creeks.  There’s not a morning I take a walk and don’t see herons, mergansers, phoebes, great horned owls and the occasional bald eagle.  Oak Creek, never bridled by the hand of man, can run wild when the snows melt in Flagstaff.  Spring Creek, on the other hand, though it has its tumultuous moments, is generally quieter.  I love to stand on its banks and paint the morning shadows as they crawl across the rocks.  This painting depicts one such quiet moment.  You can see a larger image and purchase the painting here.

Coffee Pot Ridge, Overcast 9×12 oil

 It’s a rare day when you have clouds in Sedona,  much less complete overcast.  On this plein air outing, though, that’s what we had.  I enjoy painting Sedona’s red rocks under these conditions; the rocks are deeper in tone, richer.  This is what I call Coffee Pot Ridge.  The actual “Coffee Pot” formation is on the far right, and seen at an angle where you can’t see its spout.  You can view a larger image and purchase the painting here.

Red Ridge 9×12 oil

In the Red Rock District of the Coconino Forest around Sedona, there are large tracts marked “wilderness.”  You can’t take a motor vehicle, bicycle or chainsaw into these areas; they are indeed, preserved as wilderness for the ages.  However, you can hike and paint in them!  I have a few favorite spots, and “Red Ridge” features a little outcrop that’s always fascinated me.  You can see a larger image and purchase the painting here.



Seven Warriors 9×12 oil

There are many places in Sedona, Arizona, where you can get beautiful views of its famous red rocks.  One formation, “Seven Warriors,” can be seen near Cathedral Rock and on the east side of town.  One afternoon, I went out with a painting friend who lives near there, and we painted views of the Seven Warriors.  Here’s my take on it, just as the sun was going down.  You can see a larger image and purchase it here.

Evening in the Canyon 9×12 Oil

Evening in the Canyon 9x12 OilWhen I participate in plein air painting events, such as the 2016 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art, I’m usually worn out by the end of the day.  But I always try to sneak in one more painting before day’s end.  “Evening in the Canyon” is such a piece.  I was entranced by the warm glow of the sunset on some of the buttes far below me as I stood looking down from the South Rim.  Buy it here!

A Moment in Time 12×9 Oil

A Moment in Time 12x9 Oil“A Moment in Time” is a small but favorite plein air painting from the 2016 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art.  It depicts a famous viewpoint — Mather Point — where crowds of visitors gather to gawk at the stupendous view.  For many, it’s their first view of the Canyon.  I always enjoy walking east on the trail a ways so I can look back and count how many people are out there.  In this painting, you can see a few of them in their brightly-colored clothing.  Buy the painting here.

Perched 9×12 oil

Perched 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley JohnsonThis is another in a series of small plein air paintings I made as part of the 2016 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art.  The Canyon has a very dominant, “flat” horizon to it.  Design-wise, it’s nice to break up that horizon with a shape–a tree, in this case.  I hauled my gear down off the rim among the sandstone and shrubbery to find this little character perched above me.  I loved the shape it made against the sky.  Buy it here!

Plateau Point 6×8 oil

Plateau Point ViewThis is a sweet little painting from the 2016 Grand Canyon Celebration of Art.  Far down in the Canyon, you can see Plateau Point with the trail that takes you (or some adventurous hiker) to its tip.  You can see Plateau Point from nearly everywhere along the South Rim in Grand Canyon National Park, but its shape changes with the view angle.  This one was pointed from the start of Hermit Drive, near the Trailview pull-off.  Buy it here.

Small Paintings Index


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