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Home First Posted: Aug 5, 2008
Aug 15, 2018

Some of My Paintings

by Debora Johnson

Oil painting is a new phase in my life. Sketching and art have always been a love, but trying to oil paint portraits had its genesis during our trip to Machu Picchu. Our digital camera stopped working. Yep, just died! Luckily for us some fellow travellers offered to take pictures. They said a disc could be made and sent as well as prints. We were asked what was of interest to us. I suggested that the faces of the people were so very beautiful and their clothes so colorful, that close up shots of their faces would be a treasure. That was the beginning of a lovely friendship with Don and his wife, Brenda. The pictures arrived by courier about a month later, much to our surprise. The disc followed. The beginning of my portrait painting endeavors in oils began from a broken camera. Now, Bill and I take portrait pictures in all the countries we visit, and I paint a series of interesting faces that move me and are reflective of the people and cultures. Below, are some of the oil paintings of pictures that inspired me. Both Brenda and Don are so very creative. They have a wonderful eye for composition, color and design. Both create jewelry from their many international trips--then travel all over the US to Renaissance Festivals where they have shops.

If you ever had the desire to try to paint--just pick up a brush and do it. You can, I did. It is really gratifying and relaxing. When you complete your work there is a tangible piece to enjoy or give as a present for a special person in your life. I have painted for my husband, Bill, some whimsical daisies (below). He really likes daisies. I gave him the painting for a Valentine's Day present. What a smile that brought! When I paint a picture, it is from my experiences, feelings, thoughts, etc. I do not care what other people think about it. Too often people are quick to criticize. The paintings are not about anyone but myself. So I would say to you, just do it and please yourself. Forget what others have to say. Who knows what their motivations might be? We are all unique in every way. What you capture on canvas is uniquely yours. There is no right or wrong.

I like to take all the "stuff" or "clutter" out of the pictures. I will make the painting less detailed than the photographs. Simplicity is less likely to detract from the portrait. Also, I modify the colors to make them have more depth. As a painter, you can do whatever you want. The pallet is yours to choose. Most important, to me, is capturing the life in the eyes and conveying a feeling of being in my portrait paintings.

The camera distorts the colors in the paintings. My husband is trying to figure out how to get the paintings to take true by setting up lights and backgrounds. That is a work in progress. Bill is so patient and wonderful. These photos of the paintings convey the general flavor of the portraits in oils.

Machu Picchu, Peru and Quito, Ecuador
Travel Machu Picchu, throughout Peru, Quito, Ecuador and Galapagos
Picture Gallery

Innocence/Given to my dear friend, Brenda,
for her birthday/2010.
Mestizo/The Sacred Valley, Peru/2006/Oil Painting

The Gold Band/Ecuador/2006/Oil PaintingSinister Man/Ecuador/2006/Oil Painting

High Altitude/Cuzco, Peru, 2006/Oil Painting

India and Nepal Portrait Paintings
Travel in India and Nepal

Saddhu Priest/2008/Oil PaintingOn the Street/Agra,India/2008/Oil Painting

Mirror Twins/India/2008/Oil PaintingThe Pagri/India/2008/Oil Painting

The Galyan/CopyrightHorseHints.org/Inspired by Don Tupis Photo  KeffiyehFighter/CopyrightHorsehints.org/Inspired by Don Tupis photo

Bedouin Camel/Petra, Jordan/2009/Oil Painting

Bedouin Man/Petra, Jordan/2009/Oil Painting
Cairo, Egypt and Petra, Jordan

Man of Mondraga/Mondraga, Russia/June 2010/Oil Painting

Some Other Paintings

Frozen In Time/Oil PaintingGambler's Gold Star/Oil Painting

*Gambler's Gold Star was sired by my horse, Gambler's Luck. About Gambler

Image: Copyright Debora Johnson
Pesty Flies!/Oil Painting/(My Horse, A Patchy)

Tender Trust--Cowboy Frank and Runner/Oil Painting

I painted this for Frank. He has given me so much by teaching me how to use a computer, write html code, and do a website. Frank is so kind and giving. He is truly a special person as is Tom. Bill and I feel blessed to have them in our life. Thank you, Frank and Tom, for all you have shared and continue to share.

Tom, Frank's partner, took this picture the day Bill and I gave Frank the painting, "Tender Trust." Frank had a heart attack while on vacation and had to have an emergency operation. Instead of giving the painting to Frank for Christmas, I gave it to him as a get-better-soon present to bring him some cheer! I am happy to report that Frank is doing well and getting back to his old self. Hugs to both of you.

Wood Duck/Oil Painting

Winter Birches/Oil Painting

Cathedral of Trees/Oil Painting

Birch Trees in November/Oil Painting
Painted on location in New Hampshire

Birds of Paradise/Oil Painting

Reaching for Paradise/Painted for my daughter, Lindsey

Whimsical Daisies/Oil Painting
Painted for my Bill/A Valentine's Day present. He is fond of daisies.

Mary Ann's Barn/Oil Painting

Stable Mates/Oil Painting

Painted from a photo taken by my daughter, Lindsey, while she was in Italy.
Cat and Antique Door/Oil Painting/20"x30"

Woodstock, VT - Lazy Cat in Window/Oil Painting
Inspired from a photo taken by my daughter, Lindsey

Rhino/South African Safari/July 2017/This rhino was a nursing mother!
Canvas Size 24"x36"/Oils