Name: Elizabeth Johnson
Medium: Painting - oils, watercolours, acrylics
How long have you worked in this medium? 35 years.
Were you formally trained or self-taught? I studied art at the University of Guelph and Haliburton School of the Arts and with various Canadian and American painters. Most of my learning was through books and by just painting.
What do you love about your medium? The tactile nature of the medium. the expressiveness of the brush stroke, the blending of the colours, the design pattern of the values. I love getting out in nature and taking the time to really look and observe nature. It's a meditative kind of art, best executed in silence and solitude. There's a real euphoria I get when I hang my work on the wall and step back to assess it and see that it truly captures the mood of the scene and is beautiful. I love meeting my clients, too.
What is your least favourite aspect of your medium? Painting is a solitary occupation. Sometimes it can get a bit lonely. You have to be your own motivator and your own sales person. The hardest part for me is the marketing of my work.
What do you listen to when you’re working in the studio? Silence, sometimes classical music and sometimes CBC radio.
Favourite things to do when you’re not working in the studio? Since I am largely a plein air painter, I don't work a lot in the studio. Outside of painting, I take care of my big family - I cook, help run the family businesses, garden and hike. I love going on hiking holidays. I also have a little cabin that I love to escape to.
Favourite artist / craftsperson of all time and why? Hard question. The Beaver Hall Group, ( Kathleen Morris, Anne Savage) are my heroes. Not only were they wonderful painters, and hard workers, they were the first group of Canadian women whose art was taken seriously and not considered just a hobby.
Favourite book? 101 Famous Poems, Jane Eyre, Lord of the Rings.
How long have you lived in Muskoka? 27 years.
Favourite restaurant in Muskoka? My daughter's wood-fired pizzeria, Pizza on Earth.
Favourite road to drive in Muskoka? Hwy 35 from Dorset to Carvarvon.
Favourite place to hike, bike or walk in Muskoka? The trails at the old Leslie Frost Centre in Dorset.
If you weren’t an artist/craftsperson, what would you be instead? Can't imagine being anything other than a painter! But, if I had to choose a second best, I'd be a writer.
Visit Elizabeth's Artist Page to learn more about her work.
('Ask the Artist' is an ongoing Q&A series that provides a little bit of insight into the lives of the members of the Muskoka Autumn Studio Tour)