A few years back, Benicia artist Susan Johnson took up painting with surprising joy and ease. Years of observation and a passion for beauty imbued her with a sophisticated sense of color that translates to her oil paintings.

Forty years ago the artist lived in a crumbling, primitive adobe that she found beautiful: the turquoise shutters, cadmium yellows, ocher hills, white clouds, blue skies and red chilies influenced her painting style. Johnson has also lived in Paris and Provence.

Photo courtesy of the artist

Hopi Mesa, by Susan Johnson

Johnson is the featured artist this month at the Benicia Plein Air Gallery on First Street. She recently visited New Mexico to capture the colors and cultures that inspired her latest paintings: Abiquiu, the Sandia Mountains, Taos, Santa Fe, Truchas villages and the Turquoise Trail. These new works will be on view through June with an artist reception Saturday, June 9, 2018, 4-6 pm.

Benicia Plein Air Gallery
307 First Street, Benicia
Open Thursday through Sunday, Noon – 6pm