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!

Field of Lupines 9×12 Oil

Field of Lupines 9x12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

Field of Lupines 9×12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

The onslaught of spring continues as summer approaches.  First we had the apple trees blooming, then the lilacs and now…the lupines!  The lupines fill the field near my house, and every year I try to paint this view of Friar’s Bay with Friar’s Head in the distance.  Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada.

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End of May 9×12 Oil

End of May 9x12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

End of May 9×12 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson

Each spring, after arriving at my summer studio in the Canadian Maritimes, I look forward to the blooming of our apple trees.  We have over a dozen, and each of them is different.  Some have white blooms, some start off red and go pink; all are very old.  This is one tree that was particularly beautiful this year.  I truly enjoyed standing in the warm spring sun and looking into the deep shadows, all at the end of May.

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View to the South 9×12 Oil

View to the South 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

View to the South 9×12 oil. Zion National Park.

This is view of the famous Great White Throne, but painted further up the Virgin River from where Thomas Moran sketched his view.  When I painted it, it was a very hazy day, and you could just make out the sunny side of the Throne.  This painting features the rim lighting (back lighting) that I love so much.

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The Sentinel 9×12 Oil

The Sentinel 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

The Sentinel 9×12 oil. Zion National Park.

The Sentinel looks over the Virgin River and dominates Zion Canyon as you wander north.  This was a painting I made toward sunset, near the South Campground.  The light was stunning!

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Shuntavi Butte 12×9 Oil

Shuntavi Butte 12x9 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

Shuntavi Butte 12×9 Oil. Zion National Park.

Shuntavi Butte is one of the more remarkable formations in the Kolob Canyons section of Zion National Park.  You can see it from just about any point on the twisty, windy road that takes you to its foot.  This is a view from a bit farther off.  Another cloudy but mysterious day.

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Kolob Canyons Overcast 9×12 Oil

Kolob Canyons Overcast 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

Kolob Canyons Overcast 9×12 oil. Zion National Park.

Zion National Park has two parts:  The part that everyone visits, and then Kolob Canyons.  Kolob Canyons is higher up, near 7000 feet, and offers beautiful, windswept vistas of the upper rocks of the park.  I was there on a cloudy, overcast day.  I like overcast days in the Southwest; colors are more muted, and the rocks seem more distant and, well, powerful.

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Into the Narrows 9×12 Oil

Into the Narrows 9x12 oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

Into the Narrows 9×12 oil. Zion National Park.

At the far end of Zion National Park, all the way up the Virgin River, the canyon closes down on you.  This is the Narrows.  On a quiet day, such as shown here, it’s a pleasant place.  But during a flash flood, lives can be lost.

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Big Bend II 6×9 Oil

Big Bend II 6x9 Oil by Michael Chesley Johnson. Zion National Park.

Big Bend II 6×9 Oil. Zion National Park.

This is another view of The Organ at Zion National Park along the Virgin River.  Again, I love the rim lighting (also called back lighting.)

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Big Bend I 9×6 Oil

Big Bend I 9x6 oil. Zion National Park. By Michael Chesley Johnson

Big Bend I 9×6 oil. Zion National Park.

One of my favorite places to paint is Zion National Park in Utah.  There’s a special spot along the Virgin River called Big Bend, and painting there in the morning gives you some beautiful rim lighting.  Here is a landmark called The Organ along the river.

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The Watchman 9×12 Oil

The Watchman 9x12 oiil

The Watchman 9×12 oil

Each year, I lead a painting retreat to an exciting place.  Recently, I took a group to Zion National Park to paint along the Virgin River.  This is the Watchman, who towers over the river and all of Zion.

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Small Paintings Index

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