You Asked For It...

So, every once in a while a daring soul asks to see some of my art work.  I usually say something like, “Oh yeah, we’ll have to do that sometime…” knowing deep in my heart that they will never see anything.  Ever.  There are a token few on campus (other than professors/comrades) that have seen any of my art.  Most of those people just happen to be walking through the HFAC and just happen to see a framed piece with the name “Missy Johnson” by it.  I’m sorry guys, it’s required.  If it weren’t, you wouldn’t have to look at them.  I promise.

Anyway, a great deal of my time as an artistic recluse at BYU has been spent slaving away over watercolors.  I love watercolor.  I love everything about it—mastery of timing, washes, layering—watercolor is what I am most comfortable with and I use it as a cop-out every single semester so that I don’t have to work in oil (because I am uncomfortable with the medium and therefore really bad at it).  Well, lucky for you, Bob Marshall told me that he wouldn’t accept any watercolor pieces from me this semester.  None.  (I tried.  He was serious).  I mean, I guess it was a compliment (he said that I didn’t have any more to learn about watercolor), but it still flustered me and caused multiple breakdowns late at night in the studio. 

Moral of the Story:

Oil Paint + Landscape (which I had never painted in my life until this term) + Missy = Disaster

And now for the fun part.  I have decided (after a little bit of pestering, but mostly to show people that I really am an art student), to show you my portfolio from this past term (the ones that I didn’t throw away/paint over…which eliminates a big handful of work).  I would appreciate it if everyone could keep snide remarks to themselves.  No comments from the peanut gallery, thankyouverymuch.  And most importantly, please remember that this medium is (essentially) new to me.  The subject matter is even newer.  And I am getting really defensive right now because I suddenly feel extremely vulnerable and exposed.  

This was my first plein air painting.  It was done out in my back yard.  I wish I could have video-taped Bob's reaction to it.  He told me to paint over the first four of these.

Bob: "Missy, mountains don't come with pretty 45 degree angles like that.  Crumple up a piece of paper, examine it, and try to paint them again."

We both agreed that this piece belonged in a little market in Tijuana.  Pronto.
(And yes I know there is a spot in the sky, I put two canvases together because I thought they were dry...ha).

"Don't paint with texture until you are more comfortable with the paint.  You use it as a cop-out."

"This is the first one that you have even painted on.  Fabulous colors."

"You painted this?  Ugly bushes.  Great colors and depth."  (I agree completely).

Not sure how I feel about this one...

This is the first painting I have signed at BYU.  I gave it to my Dad for Father's Day.  I changed it a little after I took the picture--mostly adding highlights and some warm yellows.

I obviously took this picture while the paint was still wet.  I need to sand it down a little bit to eliminate those nasty brushstrokes in the sky.

This one is huge...6 feet by 4 1/2 feet.  This is what caused most of the mental breakdowns.  I still need to drop some pretty hefty glazes in there but I had to take a picture and turn it in at 8 this morning.  It's the canyon walls in Lake Powell...and yes, it really looks like that.  White parts and all.

Note: The first 6 are plein air paintings, which is, believe it or not, extremely difficult for a number of reasons.  If you really want to know, I can fill you in on the complications.  Numbers 7 and 8 were supposed to be plein air, but I did them from photographs because I ran out of time due to said emotional breakdowns in the studio.  Number 9 is painted from memory (that was the assignment).  Number 10 is from a photograph.

I’m going to miss Bob.  


Anonymous said...


There are too many details in here for me to sort through everything -- but, I do know this: I love my Father's Day present and the last one of the Lake Powell Canyon walls is great.

Te amo,


JT & Lizzie Davis said...

Meesh, you are amazing! I always knew you were going to be famous. You are seriously so talented, and I've always admired how dedicated you are to your art. You take it seriously - it really is a part of you, which is so cool. YOU are so cool!

caitlin connolly said...

AMAZING!!! It's about time I saw a little bit of this... you are great. I also love the commentary. Let's paint together. I want to take a class from bob. That's all I have to say about that.

preethi said...

This peanut from the gallery loves you and particularly loves the Lake Powell one.

EBV said...

missy, that last one is gorgeous, IMHO. When you're famous I'll tell people I knew you. Don't let sanity keep you from great art! It's way overrated