Elizabeth Johnson Art


Anti-story Paintings

Small Anti-story Paintings

Plein-Air Paintings

Ocean Drawings

Rock Drawings


Artist's Statement

Art Writing





Artist's Statement  2016

My oil paintings join unrelated subjects in a groundless, airy imaginary environment.
I call this work "anti-story" because it thwarts the urge to make sense of the world through storytelling. I depict parts of photographs as if they occupy space, and distort or wrap images on planes like wallpaper, using digital manipulation as a tool and hand-built paper models. Fragmenting and mixing images separates them temporarily from meaning, diminishing but not erasing its power. I enjoy looking at combinations of images that have no obvious reason for appearing together, those with few preexisting, well-worn associations, and feeling their lack of purpose. Currently, I paint on small surfaces and finish a painting in two or three sessions, working quickly in order to train myself to let the odd combinations happen. Working in a dream-like space challenges the idea of causality, and encourages viewers to devise their own stories: the desire to make sense of chaos is framed and resolved by the unexpected.