As a self-taught acrylic paint artist, I lean towards realism, but blend a heavy dose of the abstract into the ordinary and the everyday, striving for something unusually beautiful. Altering something just enough to make you take a few moments more to figure it out intrigues me.
The Tree Wing Bird, at first glance, you’re not sure what it is. But upon closer inspection, you see the bird’s large eye and then you can almost see it slightly ruffle its wing, hear it, and then it makes sense. Or does it? Is the bird in the tree or the tree in the bird?
I know my work has been heavily influenced by many years of travel. The time and patience required for that travel afforded me an opportunity to be still long enough to tilt my head. I’d like to think that those mental snapshots of places and objects I’ve found near and far, which I’ve translated onto the canvas, will speak to everyone.
Ashanti Johnson is from Waterford, Michigan. She is a senior at Eastern Michigan University studying fine art with a concentration in graphic design. Ashanti also works in other mediums including acrylic, watercolor, pastels and charcoal.
Ashanti spent part of this year working as an intern in the gallery of Riverside Arts Center and assisted in preparing for this Feb Black History Month exhibit. Her goals are to become a graphic artist and to someday run an art gallery of her own.