Thursday, January 17, 2019

Losing Everything...Malibu Fires

Katie Gorak is a 17-year-old senior at Malibu High School, on the water polo team, and in the normally difficult process of waiting to hear back from college applications. Under normal circumstances, Katie would also be mentally preparing to leave home—but the Woolsey fire took her family residence in the Malibu Highland mountain area and Katie’s expected way forward.  Wise beyond her years, she normally loves going to movies, collecting things and listening to music. She was out of school this important senior year for 21 days due to the fire.  In an emotional interview with me,  at her temporary rental home, she spoke about the sudden loss of the home and foundation she loved so much.

To read the full article featured in The Malibu Times
Go Here

Katie Gorak

Special to The Malibu Times
"The Face of Malibu Rebuilds By Johanna Spinks'

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Historic Defeat, Prime Minister Theresa May -

A historic defeat  today for The Right Honorable Theresa May today in Britian. I am a bit confused by Brexit , living out of Britain,   but I do know the Prime Minister likes shoes, and therefore I like her. I also feel bad for anyone having such a rough day.

I painted this via my palette knife.

"Brexit Means Brexit - The Rt. Hon. Theresa May"
By Johanna Spinks
Via Palette Knife

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Face Of Malibu Rebuilds...

Jerry Magusen
The Face of Malibu Rebuilds
Series By Johanna Spinks
With The Malibu Times


Those who know me, know the California Wildfires hit very close to home with two-thirds of my neighborhood lost and over 600 homes burned to the ground in my hometown, let alone the other towns in California.

I was one of the lucky ones with a miraculous escape. Studio and home repairs are slowing beginning for me, but not for others.

Life will not feel the same watching the loss of others.

As I was sitting in the hotel for four weeks evacuated, not being able to paint, I decided to start sketching some fellow evacuees who I was chatting with around the lobby area. It made me feel less helpless. Then I thought we need to get these stoires of loss and courage out there. I contacted The Malibu Times who I worked with over  a five year period for my Face of Malbu portrait series recording people in the town throught paint along with interviews by Homaira Shifa.

"The Face of Malibu Rebuilds" has been born. We have had to move quicky on this series so I decided to do the interviews myself along with the sketches to save organisational time. I am donating my time for this series and not being paid in any way, just like the last series. I have a background in journalism so it wasn't too far a stretch for me to do the words. I have found the interviews so far incredibly moving.

Please meet Jerry Magusen, our first in the series, and read his story at the link.  A really great guy and also his wife Patty. Thank you for sharing your courageous story.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

It's RAINN-ING Portraits!

My "Faces of Today"...many of these waiting to be unwrapped under Chirstimas trees nationwide as surprise gifts. 

Thank you to all who donated to @RAINN in return for me painting a mini portrait sketch via palette knife. Still a few more to be painted. Let's end sexual violence once and for all and keep the 24 hours hotline open. Link below.

Mini Portraits Painted by Johanna Spinks for her @RAINN fundraiser this year. All 8 x 8" via palette knife.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

The Other Art Fair - What Was This Show Like?

It's been a whirlwind few weeks with the Calfornia wildfires and I have not had time to post having been evacuated. A lot of people are going thru so much. We lost over half our neighborhood. It looks like  a war zone.

But I said I would report back on my POP-Trait! portrait showing at Saatchi's "The Other Art Fair" in Los Angeles at Santa Monica airport, especially for other artists who may be considering doing it. It was a very postive four day experience for  me -which happened just before the fires.

The opening night was great, good foot traffic and I got some terrific leads,  one of which was an inquiry about licensing my work. Contracts have just been signed. More on that later. Some commission inquiries too.  Foot traffic on the Friday and Saturday could have been a little busier. Sales were not the point of exhibiting here for me. Some artists were definitely selling and some artists were definitely not. If you plan on doing The Other Art Fair for brisk sales, I would say, think again. For me, the aim was networking and showing a new collection/body of artwork in front of actual eyeballs, the general public, instead of social media. This was very postive.

The Fine Art Ledger highlighted my POP-Trait! collection as being among its' favorite artwork at the show. How cool is that!


I also did a portrait demo at The Other Art Fair and that was well received and I thank ArtModelShannon for donating her time to sit for me. We also did a small POP-UP showing of her lovely white figure china sculptures called "Femme-guerines".

The Saatchi show organisation was good. The Saatchi people were friendly too. I think they could have been a little more generous with some free drink tickets though on the Opening Night.

Just so you know, you are hand-juried into this show. They had 800 applicants for 120 spots for my show. But you still pay a fair sum for the actual space rental, liability insurance, etc. Saatchi has a big PR machine behind it, one of the reasons I knew it would be good to show with them. Its' PR lived up to my expectations.

The Other Art Fair runs shows across the world throughout the year. Los Angeles will have two shows in under 12 months . I  personally would perhaps wait a while until I did the next one rather than jump in to another one  too soon.

Thanks to everyone who attended and showed me their support. It was much appreciated.

If you have questions about the show,  feel free to email me at

Opening night with beautiful Rachel, one of my sitters. 

Day 2...
Portrait Demo With ArtModelShannon

ArtModelShannon sits for me...
ArtModelShannon's POP-Up "Femme-guerinnes"

Lynette, a sitter, strikes a pose.

ArtModelShannon with her portrait behind from an earlier sitting. 

Stuntman Patrick, one of my sitters. 
The Gang.
The Demo, Two Hours. 



Thank you to The Fine Art Ledger for giving a nod to my showing at The Other Art Fair. Los Angeles

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Saatchi Art's The Other Art Fair - Almost Here

By Johanna Spinks
Now accepting commissions. 

My POP-Trait paintings are being packed and my business cards are at the ready. Saatchi Art's sponsored "The Other Art Fair" show,  which travels from London to Australia with various U.S. locations/stops is almost here.  It's a big production and I am honored to have been hand-picked by a Saatchi panel of judges to show.

I am looking forward to the experience and will be posting here. It is a four day event in Los Angeles this weekend featuring about 120 artists from 800 applicants. Some artists are flying in internationally to show which makes me so grateful that I am so local.

I do still have a few comp. tickets. Emal me.

So far, the pre- show organisation, and its'  team,  have been impressive, not to mention friendly which is always good.

Stay tuned! I hope to see some of you there. I am at stand #30 with my POP-Trait! series of large format portraits painted in two sittings via my palette knife.

Thanks to Dave Teel Photography for this photo.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Comp. Tickets - The Other Art Fair, Los Angeles

Thanks for following this blog and my artwork. It means the world to me.

As a small thank you to readers that are local,  I have a few comp. tickets to The Other Art Fair, Los Angeles. Contact me at if you would like to attend. You can choose the day you would like to go at a link I will give you.

This promises to be a great show of contemporary art and I am excited to show my "POP-Traits!" for the first time which some of you have been following on this blog.

I will be blogging about the four day show so stay tuned.