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.


Sunday, September 9, 2018

Naming Paintings...

Very impressed with the folks at Saatchi putting on this show.  The pre-show prep is very thorough.
  My POP-Trait series featuring comtemporary portraiture has been handpicked by a panel of judges  to show at The Other Art Fair presented by Saatchi Art in Los Angeles

Naming paintings is almost as hard as painting them...any ideas for a title on this one? Just finished this week. 

My latest POP-Trait portrait of the lovely Alexandria Morrow painted in two life sittings via palette knife, 36 x 36"

Saturday, September 1, 2018

My "Pop-Trait" Series Unveiled

Excited my "Pop-Trait" series will be unveilded for the first time at this huge contemporary show. As many of you know I have been quietly working away on this series for almost two years now. All 36 x 36" and mostly painted from life in two sittings via my palette knife.

I have had the most encourging words from my dear friend and mentor Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., painter of eight American presidents and a who's who of America over the last 60 years.

Kinstler says of this new body of my work:

“I am impressed with your new striking portraits. I think you are on to something. They are fresh, contemporary and different. The new scale and size lend themselves to very modern settings and a new audience."

How cool is that. Thank you dear Mr. K.

 I will be posting the whole collection over the next few weeks. Please stay tuned. Would love your feedback.  There are about 24 of them now.  

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

The Art Critic?

Honored: invited to judge Simi Valley Art Assoc. Annual Open Show again in California. 

Cash prizes. Open to all artists. 

This ptg. a favorite of mine by Norman Rockwell "The Art Critic" painted in 1955. Oh boy, to paint like this master. It's just impossible. And he is still not in The Met in New York's collection.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Summer Event Painting

I was recently commissioned by a lovely couple to paint a special anniversary party at their home in the mountains.

These twinkling lights were a lot of work, along with the people,  but very fun to paint and I am happy to say well received at the painting's presentation this weekend. I love painting light and party dresses so it was a win-win for me as an artist.

 I also compiled a large journal of watercolor sketches from this event, see video below,  which I started onsite at the party. I sketched the actual party scene, the cocktail hour, the dessert and champagne bar, the gift table, the couple's first dance and even the hostess's party shoes as they were amazing.

I used all this watercolor reference to help create the final oil painting in my studio. The couple also got to keep the watercolor journal.

I am looking forward to paiting more twinkling party light commissions.  Stay tuned.

Mid-Summer Night's Eve
By Johanna Spinks
Event Painting

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Life Thru Rose Colored Glasses?

My latest POP-Trait portrait of Rachel Bailit, an actress and acting teacher at The Lee Strasberg Institute. She's a pretty incredible lady and loves rose colored glasses almost  as much as me, plus pink eye glitter. One can't go wrong with either.

36 x 36"
Painted in two life sittings
Via my palette knife.

"Rose Colored Glasses"
By Johanna Spinks
36 x 36"
End of second sitting


Close-up, yes there's glitter.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Knife Skills?

22 large palette knife portraits now painted by me, from life,  over the last 36 months for my new "Living Large" series...I have learned they have a mind of their own. Completely uncontrollabe chaos but I am always glas at the end of the sittings, I stuck with them.

Living Life Large Series
By Johanna Spinks
36 x 36"
Via Palette Knife

In progress -almost there
The start - always risky!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Gold Is Golden...

What a great night it was, the opening Artists' Reception Gala for the California Art Club's 107th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. It is amazing that this show has been running this long. 

The show is incredible and I am honored to be in such fine painting company with a portrait I painted via my palette knife.

Thank you to the CAC and president Peter Adamas  for all is does for us artist members. It is really quite extraordinary. 

The California Art Club
107th Anuual Gold Medal Exhition Gala
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles
Show runs June 10 - July 1, 2018

"The Company You Keep"
By Johanna Spinks
12 x 12"
Via Palette Knife
On Exhibit
107th Gold Medal Show

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Catch A Great Art Wave...

Catch A GREAT Art Wave
"On Location in Malibu 2018"
Paintings By The California Art Club
Continues Thru July 29
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
At Pepperdine University

Great opening last night. Packed house.  Thank you to all who came, The California Art Club, and curator Dr. Michael Zakian. 

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

"On Location In Malibu 2018" Opens This Weekend

Mr. Bill Armstrong
Painted at his home for my "Face of Malibu" Portrait Project with The Malibu Times

Honored to have two portraits in this show which opens Saturday. It's always shows such great art of this beautiful city I am lucky  to call home.

On Location in Malibu 2018
Paintings By The California Art Club
Reception to meet the artists, May 19th, 4-6 pm
Show runs May 19 - July 29, 2018
Pepperdine University
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art

24255 Pacific Coast Hwy
Malibu CA 90265

Friday, April 27, 2018

It's #RAINN -ing Portraits

Eighteen mini- portraits commissioned so far for my @RAINN "#Face of Me Too" fund-raiser in this month's Sexual Assault and Prevention Month.

My goal is $10,000. I am at almost $4,000 so far. Complete donation by me and free shipping worldwide. Click the link below to get yours for a $200 donation and find out more about the importaint work RAINN is doing, the leading advocacy group in the USA to prevent sexual abuse and violence running a 24 hour hotline.

There is now a bit of a wait for these minis. There are also no changes to them due to the fund-raising nature of this project. I supply my time, supplies, free shipping and don't take a cent. You supply the photos and I ship out when I feel I have created my best.

These six were commissioned by one family including the family pet!


Mini Portraits Painted By Johanna Spinks for #RAINN fundraiser.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Bold Brush Winner

Thanks to The Bold Brush Painting Competiton and judge Chantel Lynn Barber for giving my painting "Izzy's Blizzard" an award.

Thanks also to Izzy and her dad Benji.

Artists work in isolation so much of the time so it is great when the outside world comes in to say nice things about our creations.

"Izzy's Blizzard
By Johanna Spinks
Oil via palette knife. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

On Location In Malibu 2018 Show

Delighted that two of my portraits have been accepted into "On Location In Malibu 2018" with The California Art Club at The Weisman Museum of Art,  Pepperdine University. It is one of my very favorite art shows being a local and enjoying the beautiful paintings artists create of this town I am lucky enough to call home.

Show runs May 19 -July 29

The sitters here are Malibu's oldest original cowgal Millie Decker whose family were the among the first to settle in old Malibu. A whole canyon is named after the Decker family. I painted Millie at her ranch and helped set her hair in curlers for the life sitting. She was marvelous.

The other sitter is Malibu's most senior resident 102 years-young Bill Armstrong who sat for me in the living room of the home he has owned for decades. What a view!

They were both painted for "The Face of Malibu" portrait series I painted with The Malibu Times.

Thanks to all.

Mr. Bill Armstrong
By Johanna Spinks

Painting On Location!

Ms. Millie Decker
By Johanna Spinks

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Paint With A BoldBrush?

My palette knife painting of my daughter is selected part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the February 2018 BoldBrush Painting competition. TY to my daughter and BoldBrush.

You may view the FAV15% paintings, including this one here : 

"The Clearing"
By Johanna Spinks
Via Palette Knife

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Drip, Drip...

My latest large format palette knife, two life sittings. Drips and all. Hope you like. Thanks to beautiful sitter Julie.

By Johanna Spinks
36 x 36"
Via Palette Knife

In Situ


Monday, March 12, 2018

I'm in - California Art Club 107th Gold Medal Exhibition Museum Show

"The Company You Keep"
12 x 12"
By Johanna Spinks
Via Palette Knife
For Sale at Show

Some good news over the weekend...this painting has just been accepted into the California Art Club's 107th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles, June 10 - July 1, 2018. The gala reception is Sat. Jume 9th. It's always an honor to be in the company of artists in this juried show which attracts entries from all over the US.

I am especialy thrilled it is my fourth palette knife portrait to be accepted into the Gold Medal shows over the last few years.  TY to the CAC for all it does all year long for us artists.

Get your tickets for the gala eveving here:

Friday, January 26, 2018

Advice From Bowie...

It's taken me awhile to get this one to the finish gate. I am glad I stuck with it. Sometimes our brain just gets in the way. Right?

I wasn't quite sure if I would continue into a second year of painting large format portraits, mostly form life. But the path has become clear. It is obvious now that there is no turning back.  I am on a journey with them and good things are happening, slowly but surely.

As David Bowie said once, as an artist  if your feet aren't dangling off the edge of the diving board in fear, creatively, then you are not really creating. You are missing the point by staying in a zone that is familiar and safe. He of all people knew this changing his look and vision  so many times although there was always a consistent revisit to some older "Major Tom" themes until the day he died.

 I have been sitting on the edge of that diving board since picking up the palette knife in my portrait work about four years ago but especially last year with 16 large portraits painted mostly in two life sittings of people I met who interested me and some favorite models. It spun my head around.

Here's to more spinnng. Onward.


Through The Eyes of a Child
by Johanna Spinks
36 x 36"
Via Palette Knife.

Image copyrighted