Friday, August 5, 2016

Meet Diana Johnson

"Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, 
I would still plant my apple tree." 
Diana’s favorite quote by Martin Luther (1483 - 1546)
A gift of Carol Marine's book “Daily Painting: Paint Small and Often to Become a More Creative, Productive, and Successful Artist” subsequently defined Diana's Johnson’s art vision as she embarked on a journey- a Painting A Day this past year. And when that little voice in her head whispered I can't or I am nuts to think this will matter, she whispered back her new mantra... Just Paint! And that she did with an amazing number of completed pieces, 258 to be exact.

Diana is an artist living in Staples with her husband Scott. She was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. She attended St. Scholastica in Duluth to receive her BA in liberal arts. Diana spent the next 15 years working in upper management. Any painting done during that time was sporadic and often painted to give as a gift.

Diana is a self- taught artist who has always secretly wished to go back and get a fine arts degree. This Painting A Day challenge was her best answer to that wish and would at the very least give her good practice and hopefully teach her something.

One of the challenges Painting A Day is to know when a painting is done. This art journey taught her that less can often be more. Diana feels she creates better art completing one a day than if she kept returning to the same piece day after day.

Fruit is a favorite topic for her paintings since it is something readily available and the variety offers beautiful colors, shadows and shapes. Diana’s preferred medium is oil even though she finds wonderful and fun qualities in all artistic mediums.

Diana’s art pieces generally focus on a single subject. This was intentional as she felt completing the work in a day means you have to keep things simple and work small. Most of her paintings were 6x6 inches so there wasn’t a lot of room for clutter without losing a good composition.

Diana’s art work was recently exhibited at the Five Wings Arts Council in Staples. She is open to selling her art pieces and some of her work can be viewed on her art blog Diana is available for commissions and would love to work with customers who are interested in commissioning a portrait or a pet painting, an old master reproduction, or well anything! She can be contacted at

Her goal for a Painting A Day was to prove to herself that practice makes one better. She hopes her journey will inspire someone else to challenge their own art goal and "just paint.” Diana realizes how blessed and fortunate she is to have the materials, time and passion to paint. Her family and friends have been her biggest supporters. Diana dedicated her recent exhibit to her husband, Scott, for his unending support.

Diana’s dedication to her craft as a self-taught artist is most impressive.

Titled: My Best
(features Diana's husband, Scott)

Titled: Self Portrait in the Style of van Gogh
Collage done in 4 different mediums and styles

Article submitted by Sue Ready for Lakes Area Living Magazine, August 2016

1 comment:

  1. Diana could teach art. I love everything about this story from the project to the art to Diana's talent. Thank you for sharing this Minnesota artist with us, Sue.


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