Friday, December 30, 2016

Party Sparkle On?

Are you getting your party sparkle ready? I am.

I found this perfect vintage topper to wear and paint. Thanks Kristy for sitting for me.

Happy New Year Everyone.

Party Sparkle On
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Linen

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

New Year Resolutions?

The end of the year is a good time to reflect especially after such a crazy one this year with a lot of incredible creatives lost to this living world - along with a hostile USA election year and Brexit.

My New Year's resolution is to paint my heart and art soul via my palette knife. To dig a little deeper.

It's never too late to start anything. Here me talk more about this as a recent guest on the LA TALK Live "Del and Debi Mind Body and Soul"  Radio Show. Thanks ladies for inviting me along with one of my muses ArtModelShannon.

"Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul", W. Somerset Maugham.

What will your expressive resolution be for the upcoming year?

clickhere to listen to the interview

On the radio talking about my portrait world and a lot of other things in between. Thank thank you to show hosts Del Adey-Jones and Debi Carlin Boyle.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Joyous Greetings

My studio Holiday Card.

 “La Couronne de Houx”

Via Palette Knife, 10 x 12"

Email me if you would like me to send you one snail mail.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

And a beautiful 2017 To You and Yours.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Worth Its' Wait in Gold?

It has taken me a long time to paint this gentleman. Two years in fact since he led a fantastic trip to Northern India in the footsteps of Buddha's life and the places he visited and was inspired by.

Work in progress...Martin Aylward.

My palette knife  is working  in frenzy here against gold leaf.

The background will be the black rock of this famous spiritual cave, rubbed with gold leaf by Buddhist pilgrims for centuries.

Come back to see more...

 "The Leader, Sariputta's Cave, Vulture Peak, India."
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Linen Via Palette Knife

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The Mayor of Malibu Gets Painted.

Honored to recently have painted the current Mayor of Malibu Lou La Monte is a single life sitting  - of exactly one hour and thirty-eight minutes.

Not that speed is a measure of anything, but this Oscar-winning film director/producer is one busy guy. Also charming and contributing a ton to this great beach town. The conversation flowed easily and I like what we captured. So did he.

This sketch is featured in the current edition of The Malibu Times. Lou is my 49th sitter painted for "The Face of Malibu", an ongoing public portrait project of mine, each life sketch and sitter's unique life story featured  kindly in The Times.

Lou is the fourth Mayor of Malibu I have painted for this series from life.

Read Lou's life story here, his thoughts about Malibu, and being painted by moi!

Thank you Lou! What a pleasure it was to meet and paint you.

Malibu Mayor Lou La Monte

At the sitting's end.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Corsets Selling Like Hot...Er..Corsets

Anyone reading this blog, knows I have a passion for corsets and have been collecting them for years.

I have just "untied" a few. 

A huge studio "STEAL of A DEAL" thing is going on over at DailyPaintWorks, many sketches of mine done as demos during my time teaching at The California Art Institute and The Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art or during private studio teaching.

Five sold this week to as far a field as Switzerland to a wonderful new collector I have so enjoyed getting to meet - and email with about all things corsets. 

The prices are super affordable, to say the least, as affordable as they are ever going to be, in time for the Holidays. One thing I know is that everyone seems to absolutely love corsets. Most are oil sketches with gold leaf. 

Go here to view what's available. I am adding corset sketches daily.


Life Sitting This Week
"Nothing Tolouse"
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Museum Quality Light Board
Just added to

Sold This Week - Corset Art By Johanna Spinks
Adding Daily

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election Day Bull Dog

I painted this yesterday especially with the US election in mind which happens TODAY. Everyone is in a tizzy.

I am reminded of a GREAT leader of all time Sir Winston Churchill after binge watching Netflix's The Crown at the weekend.  Episode 9 made me teary-eyed. I won't spoil it for you. But watch this amazing show.

"You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks." Winston Churchill. Also a good painter as well as politician and poetical orator. 

The Bull Dog- Winston Churchill SOLD
Via Palette Knife
12 x 10"
by Johanna Spinks

Saturday, November 5, 2016

I'm On The Radio...

They say talk is cheap -  but that can never be said when it comes to Art surely?

I will be appearing on the radio show "Del And Debi, Mind Body and Soul" this coming Tuesday to discuss all things about my portrait world. Also appearing with me will be ArtModelShannon who I painted this week. See photos below.

When I was asked to bring a model I like to paint along with me, who has an interesting story that would be inspiring to others,  well, there is no-one better than ArtModelShannon, a visual artist,  a fine art model AND  a full-time nurse.

Her art message is female body empowerment (among other things) and that is one helluva message for all of us. Pushing the envelope.  Plus she is a really hard working nurse helping others daily in their times of need.

Call in with your questions for us all  this Tuesday at 3.45pm.

323 473 3100

Single sitting
Palette knife/brush combo
By Johanna Spinks

Available for purchase at DailyPaintWorks

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Fly on The Studio Wall...Portrait Video

Always fun to be a fly on the studio wall...

This is beautiful songstress Mather Louth who I painted from life in three sittings of around 3 hours each, 30x40".

The pose was inspired by a favorite painting of mine by master portrait artist Philip De Laszlo who painted more kings and queens than any other portraitist ever during his reign of  portrait fabulousness in the early 1800's  after taking over from John Singer Sargent when Sargent got tired of painting swagger portraits and people complaining there was  "something wrong about the mouth". Sargent's quote not mine.

I have long felt a tie to Mr. De Laszlo. This previous post explains why.

Thank you also to Ms. Mather Louth. She is extraordinary in so many ways fronting the band Heathen's Apostles.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

I'm A Political Winner!

Here's my latest take on the topic of Brexit.  A palette knife portrait of Britain's new Prime Minister Theresa May using her famous slogan as the title for my portrait.

The first portrait I painted around Brexit of David Cameron, see below,  was just announced a winner in the 2016 America Art Awards Political Commentary Category.

That sure was nice! Thanks to AAA judges. And special thanks to Prime Ministers David Cameron and Theresa May.

"Brexit Means Brexit - First Day- Theresa May"
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Linen via Palette Knife

"Brexit - Last Day - David Camerion"
By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Linen Via Palette Knife
Voted a winner by America Art Awards 2016 Political Commentary Category.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Thank You To Art Models...

I have worked with more art models than I  have had hot dinners over the last 20 years of life painting. I wish I could remember each and every one but the number runs into the hundreds at this point.

Each however is a special encounter for me and many have now become my friends, as we work together so often over the years.  We kind of grow up together. Art models bring so much to the studio  table and help us artists paint well. They inspire leaving us hopefully to join hands with the Art Spirit and do the rest. Art models have to show up through thick and thin, with a good attitude, smile on their face,  no matter what is going on in their personal lives. I know from my old  weekly teaching class this is not always easy. A ton can be going on behind the scenes in your daily life.

So today I just wanted to say thank you. Our collaborations are appreciated. I also wanted to say thank you to Jeremy Lipking. I have learned so much from Master Lipking about figure painting over the last few years.

These two corset paintings of mine sold today to a new collector featuring two models I have been luck to paint many times, Amina Santana  and Toni Sky.

Thank you to all three.

Catch more of my corset paintings and sketches at

The are super affordable and make delicious Holiday Gifts.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Corset Love...

By now, everyone knows I love painting and drawing corsets. I did a ton of them in 2010 and they flew out of the studio like hot cakes into many homes.

I have built up quite a corset collection over the years after developing an interest in them as a very young woman, long before I thought of painting them.

Anyho,  I decided to revisit one of my corsets,  painting it with a palette knife. The corset is a lavish stunner.

Hope you enjoy...

"Roses and Pearls"
8x8" Oil on Board
with Gold Leaf
For sale via Daily Paintwork auction...very affordable daily painted gems for all art budgets.


Friday, September 9, 2016

Lights, Camera, Action -Paint!

Thanks to The San Fernando Valley Art Club
for inviting me to do a portrait demo for the third time. Thanks also to my lovely artist pal Theresa for sitting for me. Thanks also to a new collector who purchased the sketch hot off the easel. I post the stages. Hope you enjoy.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Heads UP! Tonight's The Night...

Heads Up! My Portrait Demo tonight at The San Fernando Valley Art Club Featuring My Palette Knife/Brush Approach
Details at Link Below

By Johanna Spinks
Oil on Masonite  Board
Gold/Copper  Leaf
One of DailyPaintWorks" Auction Choice  of The Day

Bid here:

Monday, September 5, 2016

Rose Is A Rose...Upcoming Portrait Demo

I have painted Toni many times over the last 20 years and each time it's a different experiennce. This is probably one of my favorite sketches I have done of her - I don't know why. It just seemed some things came together that I have been working on for a while in my life panting. It is a mix of palette knife and brush, about 75 per cent knife.

This is what I will be demoing for The San Fernando Valley Art Club tomorrow at 6.30pm with the lovely Theresa, a friend of mine who will be sitting for me. Join us?  Link here.
Hope you enjoy.

A Rose Is A Rose
By Johanna Spinks
For purchase go to DailyPaintWork link on right sidebar

Three hour sitting at my studio

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Designing Women

Thanks to beautiful founder/designer Heidi Maria Schwark, of the ethereal children's clothing line, Luna Luna Collection, for sitting for me in my studio this week. Single life sitting 18x24".

What a lovely lady inside and out.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

I Love Paisley- Thanks Laura Ashley!

I have always had a thing for paisley fabric probably thanks to Laura Ashley and being put in those kind of frocks as a kid.

Lovely Katy arrived at my studio for a life-sitting wearing a simple paisley shirt. I didn't really do the shirt justice but I certainly was enamored with it - and Katy.

It was a three hour sitting with The Saddlerock Painters at my studio in the Malibu Highlands, yes, near Saddlerock Mountain.

This painting has already found a home but if you are interested in some of my smaller daily paintworks which are very reasonably priced, please go to this gallery link

"The Paisley Shirt"
By Johanna Spinks
Via Palette Knife

"Counsel woven into the fabric of real life is wisdom".

Walter Benjamin

In much to get done in just under three hours via my palette knife which moves slower than a brush for me.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Paint An Apple, Paint A Face.

Years ago I was told if you can paint an apple well, you can then do a face. I did both this week from life, via my palette knife, both in same color compliments. Both still excite. Thanks to photographer/art muse Timothy Clark for sitting for me. What a nice guy.

Timothy 16 x 12"
Oil on linen
via palette knife
"Spa Lunch"
Oil on Board
by Johanna Spinks

Single life sitting
Timothy Clark
via my palette knife

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Golden Secrets of Painting

I don't know about you, but I love seeing how things are made, especially paintings and especially paintings with a lot of things going on in them.

I just finished this multi-figured golden beach scene which was designed initially as a 'companion' painting  for a client who originally commissioned me to create a fairground "Golden Days" painting for their first child's nursery in Washington. See below. That was not a fast painting.

This painting, "Endless Summer" 30x24", was done mostly from my imagination with the theme of childhood in my head.  I live near the ocean so it is close to my heart. I have long been a fan of Edward Potthast's charming paintings of happy summer beach scenes so there is also a heavy nod to him in this painting too. Thank you Mr. Potthast.

My color harmony was limited to different hues of blue and orange to match the carousel painting. At times I got blocked, wondering if it is was going to work,  but because I knew I had a strong start, I kept telling my imagination to just proceed. The start took me five days to work out the S curve composition and how all the figures would be arranged in spade. The gold lay-in wash created sunshine without really having to try too hard later.

My application was mostly via palette knife apart from the washes which are impossible to do with a knife.

Can't wait to start another one!

Would love to hear your thoughts.

For more of my figurative work please go to my main website:

Available paintings are here:!figurative/c21w9

Endless Summer By Johanna Spinks
24x30" via palette knife

The start...this part of the painting took me a long time to work out. S curve composition of umbrellas .

A good start? Maybe I have a painting that will work.

Slowly moving outward toward all the umbrellas and the figures near them or underneath.

Almost there. The final water and sky were painted in a single fast session as with the pier and beach huts.

"Golden Days" by Johanna Spinks

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

New Prime Minister Theresa May

Iron Lady The Second?

 I sketched this block-in  for a portrait of Theresa May, Britain's new prime minister as of today!

I wanted to capture the emotion of the day and the big task ahead taking Britain forward from "Brexit".

 A big job ahead of her - and me. Good luck new Prime Minister May.

Come back to see the portrait done.

Prime Minister Theresa May
"The First Day"
by Johanna Spinks

This portrait follows one I did last week.

"Brexit - Last Day- David Cameron"
By Johanna Spinks

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Cheers! My Perfect Commission

Anyone who knows me,  knows I love wine.
Rose in the summer
White anytime
Red in the winter or next to a good steak.

The perfect commission landed in my lap earlier this year, creating five wine labels for The Stonehaus in Westlake Village, California.
The company, who sells its' private label wine all over the world,  specifically wished for my pen and ink/watercolor sketchbook style. A match made in heaven. Can't wait to taste the wine. Thanks to Maria Solorzano too.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Life's A Beach - Work in Progress

I love seeing how things are I thought I would share with you a painting I am working on, 24x20" via palette knife. Untitled as yet.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Fourth - As American As Apple Pie?

As American as apple pie? Maybe not quite. I still like a cuppa at mid-afternoon. But super proud to have become an American citizen December 20th 2002 at mid-day. I never take this life privilege for granted.


"Apple Pies" by Johanna Spinks.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"David Cameron -BREXIT Portrait"

Breaking Bad? Time will tell on Brexit. Today I painted my thoughts via palette knife.

Please post your thoughts.

"David Cameron -Brexit 2016"

Monday, June 13, 2016

Thank you Society Magazine

"Girl Talk"
By Johanna Spinks

Thanks to Society Social Calendar Magazine for featuring my artwork on its' cover for the second time. This painting (cropped on the cover) is from my High Days and Holidays Collection featuring the people, places and things I like to paint, bathed in the sunlight I enjoy. Thanks also to publisher Rhonnie Curt.