Artist Spotlight: Elizabeth Gyles Johnson
Capturing Your Dreams One Drawing at a Time
Elizabeth Gyles Johnson has been exploring the world through an artist’s pencil for over 25 years. During those years, she has experienced and even taught many avenues of art, but pencils remain her first love and continue to be her favorite way to express creativity. Elizabeth’s art has sold and is enjoyed internationally.
As the artist behind Wind and Honey Creations, Elizabeth uses her passion for creativity to remind us of delightful moments, often focusing on the wonders of the relationship we have with animals. She chooses to highlight the joyful and magical moments of life and especially childhood. Elizabeth is particularly sensitive to the uniquely nuanced personalities in the eyes and presence of animals. It is her desire, through paint and pencil, to capture the soul and particular personality of an animal and portray it in such a way that others see and feel it also. Through various types of pencils Elizabeth finds the freedom to allow her imagination to run. She pulls together bits and pieces of real and imaginary moments to create an artistic pastiche of intriguing beauty while retaining the joyful and magical moments of childhood. She also enjoys incorporating her drawings as the finishing touch to a collage.
Elizabeth has been teaching drawing to local students for 13 years and is now sharing her very successful teaching methods online through a video class format. She has recently created her own teaching site, CreativePencils.com, where students of any level may begin classes and move at their own pace. Elizabeth’s upbeat and affirming attitude is contagious among her students. There is no pressure, only positive, affirming encouragement toward growing the student’s skill and ability to “see”. “Seeing is the first step toward successful drawing,” says Elizabeth. Through the Creative Pencils site, students are able to interact with Elizabeth freely, asking questions and receiving detailed critiques of their work. In addition, Creative Pencils has studio groups where members share their adventures in art journaling, Artist Trading Cards, and various other subjects that might be fun to explore together.
Creative Pencils begins with Pencils 101, which is the foundational class upon which all other lessons are built. Once a student has completed Pencils 101, they can begin the monthly lessons and workshops growing wider and deeper in their ability to create with an artist pencil. Elizabeth begins every student with graphite pencil drawing so as to establish a solid grounding in line drawing and shading. Additionally, this fall Elizabeth will be offering classes in her animal portrait techniques through the site. Creative Pencils will offer classes in other artist pencils as well, including colored pencils, water based pencils, charcoal, pastels, and oil pencils.
Elizabeth uses a right-brained approach to teaching drawing. She has found this to be very effective as she has taught hundreds of students to draw using a wide variety of pencil types. More importantly, Elizabeth is particularly sensitive to the questions and needs of the students. Her lessons are thorough, clear, and easy to understand. Rather than insisting that students mimic her drawings and subjects of choice, Elizabeth encourages each student to find their own sense of creativity and style. Her students have the freedom to choose the subject they desire to draw. Many choose flowers, architecture, or landscapes rather than Elizabeth’s choice of animals. Her teaching methods are just as effective for these students.
This June, July, and August Elizabeth is participating in the online art retreat Artful Gathering 2012. Elizabeth will be teaching a beginner to intermediate level workshop in soft pastels in the first session. The subject is a black rabbit. In the second session Elizabeth will be teaching an owl portrait created in graphite pencil and Derwent Graphitint pencils. This workshop is for intermediate to advanced students.
To learn more about Elizabeth Gyles Johnson, her art and the classes she teaches, please visit CreativePencils.com.
This is brought to you by the Jerry’s Artarama Online Art Team – Promoting Art and Artists in our communities – For possible inclusion or to learn more about this program, please email us at [email protected]