Chris Johnson

Nyack, NY

"Contemporary Abstract Expressionism"
Self-taught contemporary abstract artist from Nyack, NY, working in the oil medium. In 2017, I walked away from a 20-year career in advertising to pursue my passion for art, to be true to myself.

Discovering my art has been a long and winding journey. Visually and creatively oriented from a young age, my interest in art increased in high-school and college through a series of painting, ceramics and design classes. However, fear and self-doubt set in. Pursuing a career in art wasn’t clear, confidence was lacking and the expectations to a be a successful “corporate citizen” were too great. I succumbed to the “norm” and pursued a path I felt would please others.

As my career in advertising unfolded, discontent increased. I fell victim to addiction which took everything from me, nearly my life. Starting over in 2010, I entered recovery and have been clean and sober since. While still working in advertising, I rekindled my artistic interests. Immediately, a sense of joy and peace returned. Over the next several years, I devoted more time to my artwork. In 2017, I committed to pursuing my dream of being a full-time working artist.

Painting allows me to express my innermost feelings, to be at peace, fearless. My art is my truth – a thoughtful, vulnerable, and genuine expression of who I am. It tells my story of pain and darkness to hope and freedom. Life experiences, consequences of addiction, finding recovery, discovering my purpose - all serve as focal points for my work.

Bold, vibrant colors are at the center, reflecting my passion for the fullness of life. Color exploration and use is focused on blending, movement, and shapes. Combined with precise line work and bold marks, I seek to capture the depth of emotions and meaning to tell my story of overcoming.

Painting awakens my spirit. Free and with an open heart, I’m able to communicate and connect in the purest fashion. I paint to share my journey, to bare my soul, to heal and to inspire.

My work can be found on Etsy, Saatchi Art, Artsy and Wescover. A highlight of my shows and events are listed below:

 Chateau Orquevaux Artist-in-Residence: March 2022
 The Other Art Fair Los Angeles: June 2021
 Piermont Flywheel Gallery Solo Show: February 2020
 Miami Art Basel – Spectrum Miami: December 2019
 Published in Capsules Book Curatorial Volume 2: May 2020
 Published in Art Folio Annual: May 2020
 Woodstock New-Paltz Art Festival: September 2018 & 2019
Wescover creator since 2020

More About This Creator

Q&A

How do your pieces come to life? Tell us one interesting thing about your creative process?

"I typically start with an unrestrictive idea or message I want to communicate. For example, a spiritual principle like "hope", a meaningful experience or an emotion triggered by something or someone. I always start on the right side of the canvas with a mark or marks that often set the direction of the overall piece. From there, I often just let go and let the creative process unfold naturally."
Chris JohnsonChris Johnson
Q&A

What do you want people to do or feel when they encounter your creations?

"I want my work to make people pause and think - to take it in and allow the bold, vibrant colors and movement to bring emotions to the surface. I'm trying to evoke feelings of serenity, warmth, joy, courage, calm. I want to inspire, to provide a sense of hope."
Chris JohnsonChris Johnson
Q&A

What is your favorite material to work with?

"Gamblin Artist's Oil Phthalo Blue. Blue is my favorite color and with this particular blue, I can create so many different blue hues by adding different degrees and shades of white. The options are numerous."
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Where can you find Chris Johnson's Items?