Nils Johnson


I create a painting, not a photograph, although I use photos I personally have taken as references. Having someone sit for you—what client has time?—is a joy because all the information is right there and you are not fighting with an imperfect photograph. A portrait must say something about the sitter, something that cannot be seen with a photo. A painting must show, not what is there, but what the artist feels about what is there. My style is painterly; I like to see the strokes. It adds emotion.
A client can come to my studio in my home in Lyme for several initial sittings and then be photographed so I can complete the picture at my leisure. Ideally, there would be a final sitting for adjustments. Or I may take pictures at the client’s home there. One picks up information subconsciously that finds its way into a painting, so it is good to see a patron in his/her environment.

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