Whitney Lewis Johnson

Whitney graduated with a BFA from Brigham Young University last year and is currently living in California. She has her own artist blog here. I am really impressed with how much she has gotten done, and I want to emulate her work ethic. Here are two of her pieces that she has done recently:

Fortification, 11×11 inches, oil on canvas

Whitney’s comment about this piece: “This painting is my interpretation of the lessons I learned from the “war chapters” in Alma. The Nephites spent so much time fortifying their cities to protect themselves against the Lamanites, and I feel like there are so many things we can do in our personal life to protect us against the evils of this world. I’m still trying to figure out how to finish this painting. Any suggestions? I’ve been wanting to use more color in my work, but I can never decide which color to use or how to apply it.”


Past, Present, Future, 12×12 inches, oil on panel

Whitney’s comment about this piece: “The concept behind this painting is that before we came to earth, while we are here on earth, and even after our life here on earth, there are eternal principles that remain constant–specifically our agency and power to choose for ourselves, and also our level of intelligence that continues with us from one phase to the next. I thought this painting was finished but now I’m not so sure. It may be a color issue again (not enough color).”

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3 thoughts on “Whitney Lewis Johnson

  1. I really enjoy the complementary colors and texture in “Fortification”. It really adds a depth to the piece through the layering of color. For “Past, Present, and Future” I think your idea to use more color is right on the money. Maybe adding a really muted blue or violet? Good work.

  2. So I like it. I’ve noticed you have spent a lot more time in your studio lately. Are you painting full time? Your consistancy in the studio is showing in your work and I am excited to see what else you come up with!

    If I were to change anything on “Past, Present, Future” I would add more weight to the bottom. The high contrast of the black and white arches is definitely the focal point, but maybe it makes it a little top heavy? If you choose to do anything it should be a simple thing, so it doesn’t fight with the arches for the viewer’s attention.

    I like your concept behind “Fortification”

  3. If it were me (and unfortunately this is not an in-person critique so it is hard to test the results) I would see what a little strip of red at the bottom of “Past, Present, Future” would do. When in down, I put red on the bottom in my work. I like to use it as a symbol of earth. But, see, I don’t know if this will mesh with your concept. It’s just what I would try if it were my painting.

    I am intrigued by the use of text in your pieces, and I would love to know the meaning behind it (usually I can’t read it in the pictures, so I would love to know what you write on your paintings). I think it adds a nice subtle touch visually. I always hesitate to include text because it can come off as heavy-handed, like I’m trying to hit the reader over the head with my message, so I would love you know how you balance that to make it work.

    I like the idea behind fortification, but I don’t know if the painting is quite all the way there yet. I think maybe I would do something with the bottom green part, perhaps add a subtle pattern and then glaze over it again or something. Or even some text or geometric lines might work. Not too much, and I don’t think you need to fill the whole thing, but a little something to add interest might help.

    I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with next. Good job.

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