Monika Piper Johnson, Plein Air Painter Monika Johnson is an award winning oil painter living in Incline Village, NV, who now brings many of the talents and skills learned in a 20-year career as a hairstylist to her art. As a master hair colorist for many years, her first canvas for her creative expression was painting hair. Now she using her love of color and texture to craft bold and creative “en plein air” (outdoors) artwork. A graduate of Suffolk University in Boston, Monika started out painting still life’s in acrylic before moving on to figures, and eventually oil painting en plein air. She has spent many years honing her craft with many masters, including Wendy Ulmann, with whom she painted every week for six years. She has taken workshops with Gregory Kondos at Sierra Nevada College, Kit Night at the Sacramento Fine Art Center, Wanda Mumm in Glacier National Park, and recently studying with Andy Skaff, Frank Serrano, Leslie Saeta, and Jean LeGassick.
Monika has also exhibited at Western Nevada College, the Wilbur May Museum, the Markleeville Library, Liberty Fine Art, North Tahoe Arts, The North Lake Tahoe Visitors center, Truckee Communuty Center, Incline Village Library and St. Mary’s Art Center in Virginia City. Monika’s plein air landscapes, done in oil with a palette knife and using her signature bold color and texture, are generating true excitement among her many admirers.
“Being an en plein air painter, I paint outside in the natural environment and that encourages me to capture the moment quickly. The light changes, the shadows move, the temperature changes, or the wind comes up, so I’m forced to carpe diem! If I try to go back another day to the same spot, it’s just never the same.” A Boston native, Monika’s love of skiing brought her Lake Tahoe in the mid 1990’s. “I love the mountains and the outdoors,” she says, “which is why living in Lake Tahoe and painting outside in nature is perfect for me!” Her work has graced the cover of the North Lake Tahoe Weekly Magazine. She was also the featured artist on a recent episode of Art Effects on PBS.