Denise Johnson

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Alcohol Ink Artist, ArtfulEarth

My name is Denise Johnson and I live in the beautiful boonies of northern Wisconsin with my horses, dogs, cats and chickens…oops and husband.  I have been doing art of one kind or another my whole life.  My earliest memory is a project where I glued dried beans to a wooden chicken cutout.  I have progressed somewhat, although chickens still remain a favorite subject of mine. 

I have been a captive of alcohol inks for a number of years now.  It is a medium like no other.  It takes a minute to learn but a lifetime to master… if it can be mastered at all.  It is full of happy accidents and “Holy Cow, Oh Wow!” moments.  I use Corian exclusively as my substrate.  It is an acrylic polymer used for countertops.  My husband and I have a Corian cutting board business so I have a never-ending supply.  The inks move and blend so nice on this slick surface.  I finish off the edges with ink on a stamper pad and it’s now framed!

I do art shows and never tire of the reaction of people who get their first glimpse of my ink art.  Many stand transfixed, quietly taking it in, others immediately question…how do you DO this?  I love that these inks can be unbelievably vivid or subdued and soft creating many moods. The patterns, textures and blending of the colors is limitless.  The tools used to achieve different effects are limitless.   

My advice to newcomers is do not overthink it.  Let it happen, see what happens. Have fun.  Ask yourself “What If?” and then find out.  Be fearless, follow the inks.  Watch some videos, read some articles, but not too many or it can become overwhelming.  In time and with practice, you’ll have more control, you’ll get an understanding of the inks and tools.  So get dropping, splattering, spraying, squirting, stamping, finger painting, brushing, blowing, blotting those inks.  A “WOW HOLY COW” moment is just an ink drop away. 


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