April 2023 Edition

Artist Focus

Artist Focus: Krista Lee Johnson

A closer look at the artwork of Krista Lee Johnson

Krista Lee Johnson grew up surrounded by drawing and painting supplies—be it in her home or at the Minneapolis Institute of Art or the Minnetonka Center for the Arts. The smell of oil paint has always thrilled her—she knew from a young age that art was her passion.

“I often find myself lost in the beauty that surrounds me,” she says. “Watching a brilliant sunset I feel both the energy of the colors and a deep longing in my heart while the bright spring leaves of the trees bring me joy in the way they dance in the sunlight.”Spring in Provenance, oil in linen, 36 x 20"

Johnson has always perceived life and art as inseparable. “My paintings are my emotional response to my world. I hope that when you view my art, you feel the sand on the beach, smell the plants and trees, and hear the pounding of the horses’ hooves,” she says.

Johnson is a “realist painter,” which to her means attempting to represent subject matter truthfully, “without artificiality or sentimentality.” She has a tremendous respect for the Russian realist painters and the way they depicted the world around them with loose yet accurate brushwork. “They used texture and form to express emotion in a way that I find arresting.” 

Abrivado, oil on linen, 41 x 41"

She continues, “I believe our world needs art to help us stay in touch with our humanity. I don’t paint to make a statement but rather to offer a place of repose in our hurried world. I am drawn to the play of light and shadow, but also the mystery of a foggy day. I find the use of value to be more descriptive than color, and I prefer stillness over commotion. It is my hope that my work will create a space for the viewers to slow down and reconnect with the beauty in their lives.”

Old Friends, oil on linen, 30 x 40"

Johnson will be featured in the Oil Painters of America’s 32nd Annual National Juried Exhibiton from March 31 through April 30 at Reinert Fine Art in Charleston, South Carolina. —

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Krista Lee Johnson
(952) 200-8244

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