Michael is a Master Pastellist of Pastel Artists Canada, a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of New Mexico, as well as a juried member of Oil Painters of America and other prestigious groups. His award-winning work has been in shows in both the US and Canada and has been published in The Artist's Magazine, The Pastel Journal, American Artist and Fine Art Connoisseur (Formerly Plein Air Magazine).
Primarily self-instructed, Michael has studied under master artists such as Albert Handell, Doug Dawson, Bob Rohm, Ann Templeton and Ray Roberts. Michael is noted for his strong sense of color, his use of expressive strokes and his ability to capture the mood of the landscape simply.
Michael teaches throughout North America and also conducts intensive workshops at Friar's Bay Studio Gallery on Campobello Island in the Canadian Maritimes. All students, from beginner to professional artists, praise his relaxed but helpful manner of teaching.
"One way I have of connecting with the landscape is to go out into it and paint. Although I have a studio, I always prefer to paint outdoors. Painting outdoors is both a creative act and a meditative one. It ends up being a much richer experience than painting in the studio from photographs. First of all, there are the elements to contend with -- the wind that wants to knock over the easel, the sun that moves and changes shadow shapes, the temperature which is never ideal. I'm told this battle builds character. But then there are the things that I do not fight but embrace -- the warm sun if it is a cool day, the cool shade if it is a hot day, the song of the birds, the sound of the breeze in the treetops. And of course, there is the beauty of the landscape before me. I will always be an outdoor painter of landscapes."
-- Michael Chesley Johnson
Below is a plein air painting demonstration by Michael.