Exclusive Interview with a Jamaican Soul Artist Christine D. Johnson

© Christine D. Johnson

Rich, inviting colors pull you into the joyful art of Christine D. Johnson, where you are free to reconnect with your soul. Beyond the visual layer that reflects one’s strength and natural beauty, lie affirmative messages intended to inspire and direct the viewer on a pleasant journey to inner peace.

Christine D. Johnson is a native of Jamaica who currently resides in South Carolina. She has a Master’s degree in Human Resources with an undergraduate in Psychology as well as an Art Minor. Christine has been exhibiting since 1994 and over the years has developed a unique art style that brings joyful emotions to the world. In this exclusive interview WAN has the pleasure to share Christine’s soul art with our readers.

Can you tell our readers about your childhood, family, and the environment you grew up in?

I grew up on the island of Jamaica. Our home was off-grid with no electricity or indoor plumbing. However, outside the house was our “Garden of Eden.” Our land was blessed with desired fruits, vegetables and our lifestyle was rich with simplicity. My parents stressed the importance of education, good manners, and provided an environment where my siblings and I were nurtured.

In Jamaica, I was surrounded by people who were not defined by their lack of material wealth; their strength was rooted deep within themselves. 


Memories of Life in Jamaica

A poetic Interpretation of the “Mango” painting

Garden of Eden with unforbidden fruits
Never ending kisses from the sun
Rain lullabies from skies played upon zinc roofs
Creativity spawning from no media distractions
Blessings of off grid living without sophistication or modernization
Desire for simplicity lingers from that early seed
Planted so deep

Mango © Christine D. Johnson

Were you an artistic child?  

Yes, the simplicity of my childhood sparked creativity, and I started drawing things I desired such as my dream home with a toilet that flushed and fancy clothing. Art became a portal to my desired state of being. Today, I still have a love for fashion and interior design and it often serves as creative inspiration.

What inspired you to become an artist? 

I don’t have a specific inspiration.  I believed that art chose me, and when I engage in it, there is a wholeness that occurs within my being. Whenever I stop creating art, it beckons me to come home and be whole once again. I like the joy and peace it brings during the creation process and when the viewers experience those same feelings, the purpose of my art is fulfilled. Beyond the joy, I recognize the power of art to heal, teach and unite people.

Patience to Bloom © Christine D. Johnson

How would you describe your art style and how long did it take you to master it?

I would describe my style as soulful, emotional, and abstract. I don’t think that I will ever master the style being that each piece is an experiment. This keeps the creative process exciting and inviting. What I have mastered is surrendering to the creative process. I learned quickly that surrendering was my ideal path to creativity. I learned to release preconceived expectations of how the finished piece should appear, instead I listen and create spontaneously.

What materials do you use and how long does it take for you to create an artwork on average?  

I use mixed media including acrylic paint, tissue paper, China markers, and repurposed materials, which allows a variety of texture. On average, it takes one to four weeks to complete an art piece.

Humility © Christine D. Johnson

How do you decide what size an artwork will be and what is the typical size of your paintings?  

I enjoy working on 34 inch circular pieces. However, I typically do 11 x 14 inch paintings. Often, the size is determined by what material is available. When creativity calls, I just grab something to mark on.

How do you come up with innovative art ideas?  

Ideas usually spark from things that I see or feel including interior design, fashion design, other artwork, music and poetry. Most of my art is an experiment. I just show up at the canvas, turn up the jazz or reggae music and start moving. 

Dred loc © Christine D. Johnson

What makes your art unique?  

I paint deep emotions. The purpose of the work is to be a visual partner that inspires and directs your journey to inner peace. Also, the images reflect our journey to self-identity, the meditative process needed to get there, and the rewarding peace and clarity obtained if we have successfully done the work. Each piece is a step in that journey with the title being as important as the image. My art is multilayered with many aspects of intrigued and discovery. Often, there are several paintings within one painting.

Viewers have said that they felt “witnessed and seen” when viewing my art. People tell me that they see themselves in the work and that my art has soul. Another viewer compared the many layers within my art to visiting a home. He said, “At first glance, you are on the porch; second glance, you enter the living room; by the third or fourth viewing of the art piece, you will have entered the private spaces of the home and that is when you will feel a deep connection with the art.” Someone also said that, “It is important to spend time with my art, view it at different times of the day, in a variety of lighting, so that you will experience something different each time.”

What types of art do you like to surround yourself with? 

I like works that represent a feeling of unrestraint while being harmonious. I like being able to see and feel the energy of the artist in every stroke.

© Christine D. Johnson

Who are your favorite artists and what works of art influenced you the most – and why? 

I like the intricate patterns and designs in Klimt’s work and my favorite piece is The Kiss. I like the organic, rawness and honesty in Alberto Giacometti’s and Basquiat’s work. My favorite piece of Giacometti is Walking Man. I don’t have a favorite of Basquiat, I just like the energy of his work.  Other artists that I enjoy are Samella Lewis, Elizabeth Catlett, Kimmy Cantrell, Jacob Lawrence, Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, Cal Massey, and so many more.

In your opinion, what is the primary skill set one must possess to be a good artist? 

It is important to be obedient and willing to surrender to the work as it directs your path throughout the creative process.

The Shedding © Christine D. Johnson

The World Art News (WAN) is not liable for the content of this publication. All statements and views expressed herein are only an opinion. Act at your own risk. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission. © The World Art News

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