Spring Letter from Michael Chesley Johnson

Dry Creek Snag, 30x24 oil

March, 2013
Sedona, Arizona

It's hard to believe, but once again the time is drawing near for us to pull up stakes. We are like a migratory people, heading north every spring to follow game to summer pastures. Trina and I have gotten pretty good at this. It helps that we are organized and have checklists for everything. And yes, writing a pre-trip newsletter is indeed on my list! Here are some events I'll be involved in the next few weeks.

Arizona Plein Air Painters (APAP) Annual Juried Show, March 15-27, Sedona AZ

Before we leave in a few weeks, I wanted to pass on some recent news. First of all, if you're in the Sedona area, please come to the annual juried members exhibition for Arizona Plein Air Painters. This will be held at the Special Exhibition Gallery of the Sedona Arts Center (15 Art Barn Road, Sedona) March 15-27. There is a reception and awards ceremony on Friday, March 15, from 4-8 at the gallery.

Verde River Artist Challenge, April 4-7, Cottonwood AZ

I will be participating in the second annual Verde River Artist Challenge. Designed to raise awareness of the Verde River watershed environment by Verde Valley Land Preservation, the Challenge consists of juried artists rafting down the Verde River, painting. We'll have river guides taking us downriver and setting up camp at scenic locations. The event is three days long (April 4-7), and artists will donate a piece of work to a traveling show. Work sold will help educational projects of the VVLP. For details on the trip and the traveling exhibitions, visit

Sedona Area Guild of Artists (SAGA) Invitational Exhibition, April 12-21, Sedona AZ

I've been invited by SAGA artists to exhibit with them at their annual show. SAGA is a group of area visual artists who are trying to redefine Sedona as a viable art market. I'm proud to be in this show. The painting at the top of this letter will be in it, which will take place in the new Sedona Art Museum location in the Old Marketplace plaza at 1370 West 89A in West Sedona.

The Geometry of Nature: Two Visions, August 14-September 3, Lubec ME

Trina and I will have a two-person show in Lubec, Maine, August 14 – September 3, at Lubec Landmarks. The show is called “The Geometry of Nature: Two Visions.” Trina will be showing some of her wonderful kaleidoscopic photography and fiber art; I will be showing smaller paintings of the area. Work will be priced to sell! If you're in the area, we hope you'll visit!

Far and Near Horizons World Tour of Contemporary Landscape Artists – Book Now Available

As you may remember, I have been a participant in and Director of “Far and Near Horizons,” the World Tour of Contemporary Landscape Artists. This year, the Tour continues to New York City, Pennsylvania and other venues, and we have created an exhibition catalog. The work in the Tour changes over time, so this catalog is more of a sampling of work from the Charter Members, of which I am one, rather than an actual catalog of work in the show. The book, “Far and Near Horizons,” is available from Amazon for $19.99. Proceeds from the book go to offset shipping costs for the artists. If you buy a copy, you will do your part in keeping the Tour on the road! It's a worthwhile cause, as the Tour was created to raise awareness of our precious natural environment and the dangers it faces in this new century.

Online Studio Store and Auctions

I now have two places on-line where you can buy my work. For larger, studio pieces, you can visit For smaller sketches and workshop demonstrations, you can visit my page at Daily Paintworks. For Daily Paintworks, I will be putting items up for auction first and then if they go unsold, list them at higher prices. Get them at auction before the prices go up! By the way, because I will be traveling in a few weeks, I will put both of these sites on hiatus starting April 1. I'll resume offering work for sale in late May, but then it will be only Maine and Maritime paintings. (Why? Because my southwest work stays in Arizona, and my Maine and Maritime paintings stay on Campobello!)

Traveling Workshops

Now, on to workshop news. For those of you looking for last-minute workshops here in Arizona, I have a three-day (three full days) plein air workshop through the Sedona Arts Center April 3-5. Plus, I still have a few spaces left in the Paint Sedona half-day workshops. You can find details on these workshops at the end of this newsletter.

While on the road, I am only teaching two workshops this spring. After leading a weeklong painting retreat in Taos, New Mexico, I'll be teaching a two-day workshop at the Art Barn in Valparaiso, Indiana, May 1-2. There are spaces left in this. Following that, I'll be teaching a two-day workshop for the Northern Indiana Pastel Society in South Bend, and that is full now with a waiting list. I will also be giving a lecture at the South Bend Museum of Art the night before. You can find details on these as well as the end of the letter.

Registration for Paint Campobello Is On!

I'm already getting signups for my Paint Campobello plein air workshops. Similar to Paint Sedona, Paint Campobello workshops are four half-days with time left to explore or paint, and it's been very popular with painters who bring along family or friends. Campobello Island has some of the very best maritime scenery. Workshops run from July into September. (I also have a Grand Manan Island workshop scheduled again this year as well as one in St Andrews.) For details, please visit my Paint Campobello plein air workshop site. Also, don't forget that Friar's Bay Studio Gallery will be opening in July, but we're also happy to have visitors before then.

Albert Handell Workshop

I want to remind you that I am hosting a studio/plein air painting workshop with master painter Albert Handell next summer. If you're not familiar with Mr Handell, he has been teaching for many years and is a much-sought-after instructor. In 1987, the Pastel Society of America inducted him into its Hall of Fame, and in 2000, the Pastel Society of the West Coast honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Pastel. He has won Master signature status from Oil Painters of America, Pastel Society of American and the American Impressionist Society. You don't want to miss this rare opportunity to work with Mr Handell in Downeast Maine! The workshop, which will be based in Lubec, Maine, will cost $675 and run from August 26-30. For full details, please visit

So that's all for now! Have a great spring!



Michael Chesley Johnson
575-267-2450 /



Prepare for Plein Air: Not sure how to go about painting outside?
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2013 Workshops

April 2013: ARIZONA, Sedona. Paint Sedona continues! Michael's fifth winter teaching advanced plein air workshops and painting retreats in Sedona. For full details, see

April 3-5: ARIZONA, Sedona. Three-day workshop through Sedona Arts Center. All media. Price: $360. Contact: Sedona Arts Center, 888-954-4442,

May 1-2: INDIANA, Valparaiso. Price: $215. All media. Includes lunch! Contact:, 219-462-9009,

May 4-5: INDIANA, South Bend. Price: $175. Pastel only. FULL, wait list. Contact: Cathy McCormick,

June 18-21: MAINE, Acadia National Park. All media. Price: $575. Contact: Gail Ribas, Acadia Workshop Center, 207-460-4119,

July-September: CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, New Brunswick - All media. Michael's 7th summer! $300/4 half-days. See website

September 5-8: NEW BRUNSWICK, St Andrews. All media. Four-day. Price: $295. Contact: Sunbury Shores Arts & Nature Centre,,, 506-529-3386

September 10-13: NEW BRUNSWICK, Grand Manan Island. Price: $300. Contact: Michael for details.

September 16-19: NOVA SCOTIA, Annapolis Royal. Painting retreat. FULL, wait list.

October 8-10: PENNSYLVANIA, Millheim. All media. Price: $300 (also 2-day option for $200). Contact: Green Drake Gallery, 814-349-2486.

October 12-13: MARYLAND, Towson. Price: $150. Contact: Diane Margiotta, 410-664-1004,

October 18-19: GEORGIA, Blue Ridge. All media. Price: $160. Contact: Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association, 706-632-2144,

October 21-23: FLORIDA, St Augustine. Private group workshop; opens to public late summer 2013.

October 2013-April 2014: ARIZONA, Sedona. Paint Sedona resumes! For full details, see

2014 Workshops

January-April 2014: ARIZONA, Sedona. Paint Sedona continues! For full details, see

April 21-27: UTAH, Zion National Park. Painting Retreat. FULL, wait list.

July-September: CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, New Brunswick - All media. Michael's 8th summer! $300/4 half-days. See website

September 29-October 2: MAINE, Acadia National Park. All media. Price: TBA.

October 4-5: NEW HAMPSHIRE, Monadnock Region. All media. Price: TBA.

October 13-15: TEXAS, Amarillo. Amarillo Art Institute. All media. Price: TBA.