About Michael Chesley Johnson


Each of Michael’s colorful landscapes depict a “moment in time.”  Evoking the brilliant light of the American Southwest and Maine’s coastal areas, they represent a deep meditation by the artist on the world he inhabits.

In addition to painting full-time, Michael teaches plein air painting workshops and runs painting retreats in scenic locations.  A frequent writer for art magazines, he wrote his latest book, Beautiful Landscape Painting Outdoors: Mastering Plein Air, for both beginners and experienced painters.


Member | The Circle of Gamblin Artists + Educators

Master Signature Member: Pastel Artists Canada
Signature Member: American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, Pastel Painters of New Mexico

On Faculty of Plein Air Convention & Expo: 2012, 2022, 2023

Invited Artist to Following Plein Air Events:

  • Grand Canyon Celebration of Art (2011, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018)
  • Sedona Plein Air Festival (2006-2011, 2014-2016)
  • Zion Plein Air Festival (2011)
  • Castine (Maine) Plein Air Festival (2013-2016, Judge of Awards in 2017)
  • Montague (Prince Edward Island) Plein Air Festival (as Judge of Awards, 2014)
  • Prescott Plein Air Festival (2022)

Major Book Published: Beautiful Landscape Painting Outdoors (Soho Publications, NY, 2022)

Frequent Contributor for Art Magazines since 2001:

  • PleinAir Magazine
  • The Artists Magazine
  • Pastel Journal
  • Southwest Art
  • American Artist

Teacher of Plein Air Painting Workshops since 2001

  • Many states in the US
  • Eastern Canada
  • Scotland

Social Media

Michael has taught at workshop centers and for art groups such as the following: Northwest Pastel Society (Gig Harbor, WA); Green Drake Gallery (Milheim, PA); Art Barn (Valparaiso, IN); Acadia Workshop Center (Southwest Harbor, ME); Sedona Arts Center (Sedona, AZ); Old Forge Arts Center (Old Forge, NY); Sunbury Shores Art & Nature Centre (St Andrews, NB); Pastel Artists Canada (Burlington, ON); New Hampshire Plein Air (Goffstown, NH); Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod (Barnstable, MA); York Art Association (York, ME): Springfield Area Pastelists (Springfield, IL); Los Reyes Gallery (Tubac, AZ); Bay River Art Guild (Daphne, AL); Roswell Museum (Roswell, NM); Hubbard Museum of the American West (Riudoso, NM); ArtCenter Traverse City (Traverse City, MI); Lawrence Academy (Lawrence, MA); Vermont Pastel Society (Montpelier, VT); Cloudcroft Art Workshops (Cloudcroft, NM); Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association (Baltimore, MD); Water Street Studios (Batavia, IL); Eastport Arts Center (Eastport, ME); Pastel Society of El Paso (El Paso, TX); Ellis County Art Association (Waxahachie, TX); Middlebury Studio School (Middlebury, VT); Toledo Artists Club (Toledo, OH); Wilmington Art Association (Wilmington NC); Coastal Maine Art Workshops (Rockland, ME); Tucson Pastel Society (Tucson, AZ); Central Ohio Plein Air (Columbus OH); Ohio Plein Air Society (Cincinnatti, OH); Grand Canyon Conservancy Field Institute (Grand Canyon, AZ); Tempe Art Guild (Tempe, AZ); Plein Air Live and Pastel Live (online, for PleinAir Magazine); Arizona Plein Air Painters (Phoenix, AZ); 2022 Plein Air Convention and Expo (Santa Fe, NM); 2023 Plein Air Convention and Expo (Denver, CO)

Photo: Roland Gockel

If you’d like to schedule a studio visit, preferred contact is email but you may also call/text: 505-490-6139