Liz Johnson: Joyful Mark Making

Liz Johnson writes about her exhibition: "Joyful Mark Making" which is at WellSpring Centre from May 2023

Creating art helps me to make sense of my world, especially when I encounter experiences that are disorientating. Through stepping in and out of my home studio and creating artworks outdoors, I am constantly inspired by what I see around me in the natural world, particularly land, sea and sky. 


 ‘Joyful Mark Making’ is a combination of recently exhibited works from ‘Collections of You’, (Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery, 4 March - 15 April 2023) with the addition of other works, both old and new, using the technique of pen, ink and wash.


The ‘Collections of You’ landscapes and seascapes were chosen to respond to the depiction of a landscape found in Fred Williams’ ‘Decorated Stoneware Plate’ (1967), in the Hawthorn Town Hall Gallery Collection. This is with particular reference to Williams’ spontaneous, and minimalist mark making. The artworks which were chosen, similarly demonstrate restraint, simple, spontaneous and joyful mark making.


Created over a number of years, these landscapes and seascapes focus on a quick, spontaneous capturing of a scene, with simple elegant mark making. Each image is a snapshot in time, captured in best conditions, mostly ‘en plein air’, before weather conditions changed.


Although the focus has been on mark making, there has always been an intention to push the boundaries of my artistic practice by using a variety of materials and techniques.

The works created outdoors often inspire new works in the studio, as I explore ideas of deconstruction, reconstruction and abstraction. Drawing underpins my art practice, I love working with pen, ink and charcoal, with the addition of watercolour washes.

I invite you to enjoy the artworks, stop, take a breath, and look for more than 6 seconds at each work. If it is helpful, use the visual thinking routine of See/Think/Wonder. 

1. What do I see? 

2. What questions do the artworks provoke? 

3. What do I want to know more about?

The works are for sale, with the proceeds of the sales going to WellSpring. Details here.

Contact the artist: Liz Johnson: 0408 103 105