Emily Johnson

Monday, August 31 to Thursday, December 31, 2020

Talk about your work. What would you like people to know about it?

All of my work is created with intention from a space of meditation and reflection. My hope is that the viewer will be able to connect to and have a visceral response to the work. Does it evoke a memory? Does it seem familiar? Does it feel a certain way? 


What did you have to develop, try or learn to create this artwork?

Learning to let go of the outcome was a big part of my process. Embracing change, letting go and having the willingness to explore, both in terms of methods and materials as well as my internal state of being.

Emily Johnson abstract painting

What is your most important artist tool? Is there something you can’t live without in your studio?

I have a favorite brush that I cannot live without.  But, I also have a sort of ritual before I begin painting that includes lighting incense and listening to music. I think in order for me to do my best work I have to be centered and these things help me get there.


Who are other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?

We are so lucky in Kansas City to have a supportive arts community with so many talented artists. I’m constantly seeing inspiring works locally from too many people to list. I also love Helen Frankenthaler, Gustav Klimt, Vincent van Gogh, Rembrandt, Claude Monet, Robert Ryman, Robert Rauschenberg and Jean-Michel Basquiat to name a few! I’m inspired by works that make me feel something, even if I can’t always explain what it is. And sometimes it’s just the beauty of a single brush stroke that will strike me. 


What books, movies and/or music have inspired you recently?

I love to read and usually have at least two books going at the same time. Current reads include Leonardo da Vinci by Walter Isaacson and Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel.  Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown are also books that have inspired me. I listen to all kinds of music and that list changes daily depending on my mood or how I want to feel.


For more information, visit https://www.emilyjohnsonart.com/