Art View

Portraits in Oil and Film

A passionate Coventry artist


Beth Johnston loves light. This talented painter and photographer says, “light and shadows are what I look for when defining the mood, shapes and composition of all I create.” Anyone who has ever taken a painting or photography course knows the importance of understanding highlights and shadows and can appreciate how difficult this mastery can truly be.

Having the ability to compose a work of art that can influence a viewer’s spirit and disposition is a power of great magnificence. To look at the way in which Johnston manages to inject such emotion into every face she paints – human and animal – is to understand her talent. One glance at a furrowed brow or pensive stare can quickly render the viewer forlorn; a glimpse of a wide, energetic grin or laugh can evoke warmth inside.

This talented woman, who works out of her home studio in Coventry, finds inspiration for her oil paintings in nature, the human figure and everyday objects and she’s known for her landscapes, people and house portraits. “The human body is the most beautiful design in nature and I strive to capture the subtle changes in color and light as it defines the form,” Johnston says.

Always one to draw from (not only the old, but) the new techniques of the art world, Johnston is constantly learning and evolving; in fact, she’s currently a student at the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.

Currently, a number of her smaller paintings are available for viewing or purchase at Anything Goes Gallery in Warwick. You can also enjoy a cup of coffee and a look at her works gracing the walls at Main Street Coffee in East Greenwich. Between February 16 and March 10, Johnston will be featured in Art from the Workshops, a gallery reception at the South County Art Association’s Helme House (2587 Kingstown Road, Kingston).