Author Archives: Daryl


“Northeast Air” Oils on canvas 10 x 20″

I often work from photos I have taken of skies, tree lines, marshes, tidelands. In the midst of mixing colors, pouring mediums, stretching canvas and all the other steps of preparing and using materials to create a painting, I often need to re-examine the reference photo.

What was it about this scene that initially gave me an uplifting jolt? Where’s the movement, the flow, the crescendo?

I practice mindfulness on a regular basis which helps me to focus on that initial excitement and then work with worldly mediums to portray that feeling onto a painted canvas. It’s a balancing act of intention and outcome.

Posted in In Progress, Inspiration

Islands & Tidelands

Went birding at Plum Island, Northern Shore of MA a few days ago. It was really the best weather one can expect in New England in February. I love the textures of the grasses and wild beach plum shrubs in winter. Most of the island is part of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge so the birding can be very surprising. They protect a good chuck of it while the piping plovers are nesting.

Lots of wind to sweep my brain clear, lots of sun to soak my skin, a feast for the eyes and creative spirits.

Posted in Inspiration, Landscapes, Waterscapes

Looking at Brushstrokes

Brushstrokes: Footprints to Understanding

Wondering what the brushwork that provides the texture, direction, depth of paint, etc. on a canvas surface can help tell the story of a piece. Artists have a lot of tools to use: color, composition, subject matter, perspective…

The brush can leave an expressive swath of paint, a smooth continuous tone and other effects. When I go to museums I often like to stand near a painting at the distance I would stand if I were painting it. Of course this makes the guards nervous, so I don’t move my hands, just my eyes soaking in the motion and lengths of bush marks. How else could I perceive what they did?

I read up about techniques, for instance Turner left his thumbnail long to use as a scraper of sorts, or what kinds of brush hairs to expect in the dried paint. (Art conservators will determine I used brushes of border collies and labrador hairs, I am certain.) 

I’m curious as of late about larger, more expressive strokes, not the seemingly rigid, smooth, careful small, very small, strokes of sometimes realistic scenes. I would like to express the aliveness of nature around us, of scenes we love. An emotional response.

Sometimes we say “That artist is a “painter’s painter” and I think it’s all about how they handle paint on the surface. This isn’t Photoshop, people. We know it’s paint we’re using as a language. Express the paint’s life as paint!

Posted in In Progress, Inspiration, Oil Paintings

Moving Towards Completion

How do I move thru a painting towards completion?

While studying the piece, I ask questions…in no particular order:

— What is the story here?

  • — A coming storm?
  • — An inhale / exhale?
  • — A conflict, a resolution?
  • — Momentum?
  • — A sigh of relaxation?

— Are the lights and darks holding their own, carrying the story?

— What did I see this morning in the sky on the way to swimming?

These questions help me see strengths and areas I need to work on more. 

And then the paintings will fully express it’s story.



Posted in In Progress, In the Studio, Inspiration, Landscapes, Oil Paintings

“New Hampshire Landscapes in Motion” Show

“Northeast Motion” 30×40″ Oils on Canvas

Daryl D. Johnson to Exhibit Paintings at the
Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce

“New Hampshire Landscapes in Motion” on display January through March, 2019.

An Artist Reception is scheduled for Friday, January 11, 2019 from 5pm to 7pm.

Described by Art New England magazine as“…gestural realist landscapes with the overall effect of speeding through layers of lighted space,” Johnson’s oil paintings of landscapes are inspired by her motorcycle travels. The original oil paintings are awash with the energy of movement and nature with shifting patterns of water and rising transient clouds.

Greater Concord Chamber of Commerce
49 South Main Street
Concord, NH

Hours: Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm

Posted in Art Shows, In the News, Landscapes, Oil Paintings

“Calm Today” in Juried Show

“Calm Today” Oils on canvas 30×40″

Barn Gallery Juried Show

June 27 –July 28, 2018, 2018

Reception July 7th from 5–7:30pm

Barn Gallery
Bourne Lane, Ogunquit, Maine
BONUS: Short walk from Gallery to picturesque Perkins Cove. On the Trolley line.
Posted in Art Shows, Cloudscapes

Cloud Appreciation Society

As a member of the Cloud Appreciation Society, I sent them some images of my paintings. They posted one of my pieces on their website — have a look:

Posted in Cloudscapes, In the News, Landscapes

Motorcycles, Movement And Mastery

Nice article in the Weirs Times about my work in the Women’s Caucus for Art / NH Show.

3/29/18 Edition, Page 17. Read it here:

Posted in Art Shows, In the News, Waterscapes

71st Annual NHIA Juried Exhibition

“Cloud Exhale” Oil on canvas 20×30

The New Hampshire Institute of Art
Sharon Arts Center
30 Grove Street
Peterborough, NH

Opening Friday, March 9, 2018

March 9 — April 22, 2018

Posted in Art Shows

Hollis Arts Society Show

“North Beach” Oils on Canvas 10 x 20″

Art Show at the
Hollis Social Library
Hollis, NH

Opening Reception 2/4/2018 from 2-4pm

February 4 — March 2, 2018

Free Parking — Free Admission
Hollis Arts Society show.
Posted in Art Shows