All Is Not What It Seems


I stumbled across this oil on canvas painting of a room, “Moonlight, Strandgade 30” by Vilhelm Hammershoi in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s online open access digital collection and knew I wanted to use it.  I added the bookcase from an abandoned house I photographed, the man peering in is one of my vintage images and the gloves are also from the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s open access digital images.  I wanted this voyeur feel but I didn’t want it to be creepy, just mysterious.  Enough to make you wonder what is going on.

I would like to the thank the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  On February 7, 2017 the Museum made available to the public 375,000 digital images of their collection that is has been deemed to be in the public domain.  That is huge! Here is the link that explains how to use it.  I am a member of the museum and highly recommend becoming a member. It is such a beautiful museum and I it always a treat having lunch and spending the day at the museum.


Pass the Suntan Lotion


Photographed at an abandoned resort using my Fuji X-T1.  I have photographed this place several times and the last time I went someone had placed these lounge chairs in the area.  Had to capture it.  I love this place because of the way the sunlight streams in and also how nature starts to reclaim things.  The moss on the floor almost look like carpeting.


The Sight of the Stars Makes Me Dream


“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream”. Vincent Van Gogh

I photographed the Naumburg Bandshell in Central Park a few years ago.  I think it is such a gorgeous structure. The ballerina is from The Sum of All Crafts  and the beautiful starry night is a texture I purchased.  I wanted a magical haunting feel to this image.

Paisley is a Rat


Photographed at Scranton Lace on one of many trips there with Abandoned America.  This television cabinet was sitting on top of this table in a huge room and it just struck me as funny.  It wasn’t there on past trips so I thought it best to capture it before it disappeared!

Photographed with my Fuji XT-1.

For the Thing It Most Wanted Was Hidden in the Dark*


©2017 Karen Johnson All Rights Reserved

*Something Wicked This Way Comes, Ray Bradbury

Photographed at Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut.  I added the clouds for a more dramatic effect.  I love creepy old houses and this one fit the bill.

She Hides in the Glow of the Moonlight


Photographed in Valley Forge National Historic Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.  I loved this old stone barn.  It reminded me of the “Scarecrow of Romney Marsh” which was a British mini series on Disney when I was a kid.  The vintage image is one from my personal collection.  I added a little fog on the ground for a more haunting effect.

Art is Never Finished, Only Abandoned*



©2017 Karen Johnson

*Leonardo da Vinci

Happy New Year!

I photographed this at an old wool mill in Pennsylvania.  I loved the graphic elements in the room as well as the old sign used as wall covering.  The door in the wall was very narrow but had this beautiful golden hue to it as well as the rest of the room.  A little gem of a room that was tucked away in the corner of the large mill.



Wishing Everyone a Wonderful Holiday


I would like to wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!

Photographed in my town park a few years ago during a snowstorm!  I just love those red berries.

I Have Loved the Stars Too Fondly


“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night,” is from the poem “The Old Astronomer” by Sarah Williams.  The room was photographed at Trans Allegheny Insane Asylum, Weston, West Virginia.  I loved the corroded metal bars on the window and peeling paint in this room.  The vintage figure is from the Library of Congress Open Content and I decided to use clouds to fill out his head and feet.  I wanted him without any sense of recognition.  Faceless and nameless as many of the people in the old insane asylums were.  The starry night through the window is a texture I purchased.

This particular composite went through three transformations before I finally settled on this one.  Sometimes I have an idea on how I want the image to work and as I get into it I find that my first direction is not really what I wanted.  You really have to not be afraid to fail when you are creating work.  Those failures always lead to a success.

“A Sailor is an Artist Whose Medium is the Wind”*

a-sailor-is-an-artist-whose-medium-is-the-wind*Quote is by Webb Chiles, Sailor.

I photographed this beautiful ocean at Pine Knoll Shores, North Carolina.  The vintage man is from Open Content Program, J. Paul Getty Museum.

When I saw this man with his invention I immediately thought of a ship and knew I wanted him in the water.  The bubbles were just that little bit of whimsy I like to add sometimes.


%d bloggers like this: