Friday, February 12, 2016

You Had Me...At Merlot

"You had Merlot". Valentines' Day can't start soon enough.  Happy Valentines' Weekend Everyone.

Pen and Watercolor
By Johanna Spinks
Print for sale here:

Friday, February 5, 2016

I'm Going "Under The Knife" - Museum Show

I'm going "Under The Knife"! Super excited to be invited by the Museum of Ventura County to showcase my palette knife portrait work at the Tool Room Gallery thru April, opening reception April 1st. Thank you to my friends at the Museum.

 I am thrilled to show this journey I have been on over the last couple of years after randomly picking up the palette knife late one night to see how I could use it in my portrait work.

It was really hard at first being so used to the brush, especially painting sitters from life. I didn't want the work to look slap-dash with that knife, but kind of refined. I stuck with it.  I have got faster and more accurate painting from life with that knife.  I chose to paint people who told a life story in some way, about not only theirs but mine. Close acquaintances and also people whose story had moved me. 

Most of all I feel I am 'home" with that palette knife. I will never now put it down.

Mark your calendars for the opening night April 1st!  Would love to see you there to share in this special and very personal art moment for me.

Under The Knife
By Johanna Spinks
The Museum of Ventura County
Tool Room Gallery thru April 2016

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Joan Benedict Steiger's Brooklyn Baby

Honored that Hollywood grande dame Joan Benedict Steiger is including this life sketch I did of her in her new memoirs "Brooklyn Baby".

"General Hospital" star Joan, (also actor Rod Steriger's wife) is my latest Face of Malibu sitter and boy, does she have some stories to tell. Such a lovely talented lady. Read more about her incredible life story in the link below.

Joan Benedict Steiger
Sitter number 41, The Face of Malibu Portrait Project
Kindly appearing in The Malibu Times


Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cheers! My New Wine Label

Proud to be part of  The Stonehaus Winery new wine label launch.  Unveiling 5 new labels in my pen and watercolor style this Spring.  Here is a sneak peak of the first one "Valley Girl Chardonnay". Drink up! But responsibly of course!
Fun to see the bottles for the first time chilled on ice with my  label.
By Johanna Spinks
For the Stonehaus Winery, Westlake, C.A.

To see more of my illustration work and commissions, please go here:!illustrations/c1xz8

My sketch book is always near even at swish unveilings. My live event drawing from The Ritz Carlton party of the Cache Hotel Group/Westlake Village Inn merger working really fast titled "The Party Planner". Can you spot her?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Little Black Dress? Nah, Red.

It's been a super busy month in the studio working on painting deadlines as you can tell from my lack of posts since January 1st.

I feel like I have been tied to my easel and I don't mind one bit.

I decided to have a little fun today in a life sitting with the lovely Jasmin  thinking about Valentines Day and red dresses. I love red dresses more than just about anything else. Here is my newest one, top, and a few others I have done over the years, maybe some with some white thrown in.

I use a mixed media approach to these drawings combining oil, watercolor, pen and ink. Yes, oil and water do mix after all, all around 18 x 24".

Hope you enjoy.

Happy Valentines if I don't see you before.


By Johanna Spinks
Mixed Media, 18 x 24"
Available for purchase here!illustrations/






Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Last Portrait Sitting of 2015-Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to you and your loved ones.  

It seems entirely fitting my last life portrait sitting of 2015 is of my husband in his swish peacoat,  a work in progress,  via palette knife, 30x40". It was pretty chilly in the studio yesterday. That coat came in handy.

Thanks for supporting my art this year. It means the world. See you in 2016.

The Padster
Work in Progress
Via Palette Knife
By Johanna Spinks

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

My New BFF, Dreama Tolle Perry

"Dreama Dreaming"
By Johanna Spinks
In the collection of Dreama Tolle Perry
You could say this lady I just sketched is my new BBF!

I have admired artist/writer Dreama Tolle Perry for quite a few years now. She speaks in an art language uniquely her own. Her work is uplifting and witty, brilliant in execution, her joy for life contagious.

Dreama is the total art 'package'. She has carved out a loyal and large art following, teaching workshops across the country and selling everything she paints. She let's people into her life; she reveals that her favorite color is purple, chocolate has her at 'hello', and her cute cat Eddie frequently demands her attention, often being the star of her colorful paintings.

Ms. Perry changed the way I thought about art especially in my "High Days and Holidays" series of hat paintings, along with my personal sketch books.

 I realized that it was o.k. to paint, and reveal, my more fun, feminine side - alongside doing serious portrait commissions and public portrait projects.

"Spring Delicacy"
By Dreama Tolle Perry

Fast forward to this Holiday week when I decided to paint this sketch of Dreama. We have become friends over the last year or so and Dreama being Dreama just did the most gracious post about our portrait's back story after seeing  it this week.

Read Dreama's post here hats-off-johanna-spinks

Also, if you are looking for a great motivational one-of-a-kind art experience Dreama is just about to launch her new art teaching baby, an online masterpiece course,  like no other, that she has been working on for months. It is called "Dream. Love. Paint" and promises to be very special. She even renovated a cottage just for the filming of the series. Painted purple/lilac of course!

"Pink, White and Ed"
By Dreama Tolle Perry

"Mint Julips"
By Johanna Spinks
High Days and Holidays Collection