Underpainting of Red Wave

In progress of Red Wave

Red Wave 24x72 acrylic on Canvas

Finished painting – Red Wave 24×72 acrylic on Canvas

I was thrilled and a bit nervous to do this commission for Paul and Shirley. They are long time friends of ours and Paul also happens to be an exceptional artist. The pressure was on!! When I met with them to talk about what they wanted I was pleasantly surprised they wanted poppies. Poppies are my favourite flower to paint but I wanted to make them unique and different from any I have done before. This was the challenge. The canvas dimensions helped, this was the first time I had worked with this size and shape of canvas. The process of layers and surfacing the canvas helps me to get comfortable with my subject. I start to envision what it will look like and if I feel a change should be made its the perfect time for that to happen. Every layer of paint only adds to the depth and uniqueness of each piece. I am looking forward to seeing it hanging and hopefully will have a photo to share.

Nadine Johnson - Rachied’s Favourite, Acrylic, 24”x36”

Nadine Johnson – Rachied’s Favourite, Acrylic, 24”x36”


This plum tree was planted by my grandfather about 30 years ago and my cousin Rachied loved this tree, especially when it was in bloom. He passed away not long ago and I was asked to paint this beautiful tree for his wife. Every time I thought about how to approach this Plum tree I kept thinking peaceful, tranquility, spiritual and love. I feel that I have achieved this and was hopeful it provided some of that to my family. Paint what you love and it will never steer you wrong.

Nadine Johnson - Drift Away, Acrylic, 96” x 48”

Nadine Johnson – Drift Away, Acrylic, 96” x 48”

This painting was all about feel and colour. I was shown a pair of bookends and some candles that were in this bedroom and asked to paint a piece that was meant to create a tranquil relaxing environment. The colour was the most important aspect of this painting. The painting was not meant to be to realistic, a bit more to the abstract.

I normally paint contemporary realism and so had to really imagine an image or an object that enabled me to create this piece. nadine-johnson-driftaway-under-paintingI started with the underpainting but I kept thinking about water, islands, floating, sleep, drifting and of course the colour played a huge part in the direction I took. I used a large brush and really didn’t focus to much on the intimate details but more on the overall feel and effect the brush strokes were making. I loved the effect so much that I used the same brush to produce my underpainting for Rachied’s Favourite.

The piece is beautiful in it’s new home and has created the environment and feel that I was hoping for.

Nadine Johnson - Drift Away, Acrylic, 96” x 48”

Nadine Johnson – Drift Away, Acrylic, 96” x 48”

Poppies For Carol 60”x48” Acrylic Mixed media

Jim and Carol have been friends of my parents for 60 years, so when they asked me to do a painting for them I was deeply honoured. She loves all flowers but thankfully she choose poppies. I have been painting using collage for the past year and really wanted to incorporate it into this piece. 

I started by collaging paper onto the surface of the canvas and then layered my paint over top. I used some of the collaged paper to help direct and shape some of my petals and stems but eventually allowed the flowers to take on their own personalities.

I really love this piece and am so happy that I will be able to visit it once in a while.

Nadine welcomes commission work. Please contact her for more information.