The Queen’s Armada


I haven’t posted in two weeks because I have been in a workshop, “The Creative Digital Collage” at the Santa Fe Workshops, Santa Fe, New Mexico.  My instructor was the wonderful Maggie Taylor whose work has been an inspiration to me and if I had just a pinch of her talent I would be a happy artist!  Maggie’s work is in museums and galleries around the world.  Her work was used for the opening title for the television show “Ghost Whisper” which you can see here.

The piece above is one I started in Maggie’s class and finished at home.  I learned so much from this class and will be always be grateful for Maggie’s generosity with her time and her sharing of her creative process.  It was such a great opportunity to learn from the master.

I used numerous elements to create this piece.  Water is from a local water reservoir where I live, the background is part of dutch masterpiece from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Open Access site, the queen’s body is from the National Gallery of Art Open Access site and the head is from a vintage photo, jackdaw from Frank and Cary on Deviant Art.

Rust, Rust, Rust in the Engines of Love and Time


©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“Rust, rust, rust in the engines of love and time,” by Leonard Cohen, Front Lawn, Flowers for Hitler (1964).

Photographed at the airplane graveyard.  I love the way the front grill resembles a mouth and the blue paint and rust mix so beautifully together.

Happy 4th of July!

In Places Deep, Where Dark Things Sleep

In Places Deep, Where Dark Things Sleep

@2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“In places deep, where dark things sleep”, The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien

When I originally photographed the abandoned cars at the airplane graveyard, I had this image of a child standing on the back seat looking out the window.  I’ve watched way too many detective shows!  The building is the Fairfield Hills State Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut which is now known as the Fairfield Hills Campus.  The same place I photographed that creepy scarecrow! I added the road in front from another area I photographed at Fairfield Hills. The child is a vintage photo I purchased and the man driving the car came from the Public Domain website.

Victor E. Jardin


Happy Fathers Day!

I photographed this at Fairfield Hills Asylum in Newtown, CT.  They have this wonderful Victory Garden that community volunteers work on.  I was pretty far away when I spotted this strange thing in the garden.  When I got closer I found their scarecrow, Victor E. Jardin!  It has to be one of the creepiest scarecrows I have ever seen.  Fits right in with the place!

I photographed the “scarecrow” with my IPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

Let Light Shine Out of Darkness*


“Let Light Shine Out of Darkness” ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

*2 Corinthians 4:6

I photographed this at the Museum of the City of New York. I was standing on the staircase in the main entrance and looking up and out to the second floor through the Cooper Joseph’s Starlight installation.  I purposely over exposed it on my Iphone using the Blackie App to get the sharp contrast and an abstract graphic feel from the pin pricks of light.

So Came A Chariot on a Silent Storm


“So Came A Chariot On A Silent Storm”, ©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

“So came a chariot on a silent storm” is a line from The Triumph of Life by Percy Bysshe Shelley.

I love working with composites and this one took me a little time to put together.  It is made up of a several different photographs I took.  The abandoned car is from the Airplane Graveyard, the field of grass and the house in the back (the entire landscape was photographed in Gettysburg.  I was standing on Hancock road and it is the Codori Farm that you see in the background. The sky was photographed at Byram Lake in Mount Kisco, New York and the vintage photo of the man is a mug shot from the Public Domain Archive.

I had the car in woods originally but it just wasn’t working out the way I wanted it to.  I started looking for landscapes to place it in and the Gettysburg images I had taken worked the best.

Life Flies By


I was on a trip to New York City a few weeks ago and photographed out the bus window the passing scenery with my iPhone using a great camera app called Slow Shutter.  I kept looking for something with color and this red sign caught my eye.

Please take a moment this Memorial Day weekend to remember and honor all those who sacrificed their lives for our county.


Their Decay is the Green Life of Change


©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reservied

All Nature Has A Feeling by John Clare

All nature has a feeling: woods, fields, brooks
Are life eternal: and in silence they
Speak happiness beyond the reach of books;
There’s nothing mortal in them; their decay
Is the green life of change; to pass away
And come again in blooms revivified.
Its birth was heaven, eternal it its stay,
And with the sun and moon shall still abide
Beneath their day and night and heaven wide.

One of my images from the airplane graveyard.  Love this old car sitting on top of a van.  People always ask me what it is about abandoned places that I love and one is the way nature starts to take over where we left a bruise upon it.  The power of nature is amazing.

Lady Liberty


I really enjoy using my IPhone to capture images.  It’s always on me and I love playing with apps to come up with some new and interesting images.  I don’t have to sit at a computer to create something which is very freeing. This is one of the images I had taken from the Ellis Island Ferry with my IPhone 6S.  I used a great app called Circular as well as a few others.  Added texture from an app called Mextures.



Peeking Out


©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

I love walking around New York City and I have a special place in my heart for SOHO.  I love the architecture, the cobblestone streets, the little cafe’s hidden down narrow streets. My eyes are constantly moving, catching glimpses of things.  I looked up and between two dark buildings I saw this beautiful building with a lions head gracing its roof.  That juxtaposition of light and dark always whispers to me to capture it in my little camera.


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