. We all have people who have touched our lives in such a way as to change them forever. Mary Johnson is one of those people. She graciously agreed to be interviewed.
It is my great honor to introduce you to
Mary A. Johnson, Artist and Friend
Mary A. Johnson
When and how did you first become seriously interested in art?
I've always been seriously interested in art. From the earliest age, I found great joy in whatever creative outlet I could find. In high school I worked on sets making scenery for plays, posters, the yearbook, you name, I was there. My parents always made sure I had art supplies and encouraged me.
What mediums/subject matter do you work in?
I began my career studying oils. Once I started my formal art education at TCU in Fort Worth, I was introduced to pastels and I fell in love! My favorite subject is portraits.
What do you express in your work?
I try to express the personal connection. The eyes are so important. They are the first things you look at when viewing a portrait. They tell so much, they truly capture the soul.
: What artists/professionals have been your biggest influence?
Daniel Greene, Kathleen Cook, Richard Schmid but, there are so many.
What do you do to gain new inspiration in your work?
I find inspiration anywhere. Visiting art museums, galleries and attending workshops. Expose yourself to work of artists you admire and consider greater than yourself so you can learn.
Do you set goals for yourself?
Yes, it is very important to set goals that challenge you. Whether it is a painting a day, a new subject or study of prospective. Anything that keeps you changing and growing.
Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently?
A true artist has no choice in this career, they are driven. It is a passion and joy to create. It may not always be financially rewarding but, it cannot be your driving force. Do what you love and the universe will provide.
What is your best piece of advice for other artists?
You cannot play in the symphony unless you practice!
Even with your long and productive career, you still attend workshops. One might assume you have already learned all there is to know. Why do you still attend workshop?
I still attend workshop because there is always something new to learn. You go home and take the time to filter out what new information you can apply in your own work and practice.
Is there any more advice you would like to share with upcoming artists?
When you have a painting you are proud of, remember that how it is framed is as important as the painting itself. I would also like to tell up and coming artists to paint what YOU want to paint.
Lastly, how would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as a friend.
Mary has been active in the art community throughout her life. She has been the focus of One-Woman Shows in Minnesota, North Carolina and Texas and has been the recipient of countless awards. Mary is highly respected among her peers and has been a generous mentor to many up and coming artists.