The Bloke

The Bloke - 29.5" x 23.5" - Oil on Canvas - Michael Burris Johnson

The Bloke – 29.5″ x 23.5″ – Oil on Canvas – Michael Burris Johnson

This is a painting that is close to my heart – before I finished it today I walked outside with my dogs, thinking about bringing the painting to a close, and all over my house, were hundreds of lady bugs. Hundreds. I looked into it, and apparently in the fall lady bugs release a pheromone that attracts other lady bugs so that they can unite and go in to hibernation together. Still, I couldn’t help but feel that the occurrence was a sort of blessing. I went down and put the final touches on the red polka-dot hat – the last thing I painted was the flame of the welding torch. I’m pleased with the way the painting came out, I carried it to a certain point about 2 months ago and then the painting fell into a slumber, and I was working on other things. Four days ago I was struck, I guess the word is “inspired”, and the painting woke up – I worked on it just about non-stop for the past four days and got it to a point where I feel good about it. Pleased to say, here is it, The Bloke, circa 1985.

About Michael Johnson


  1. I love that you shared your ladybug story. It’s so nice to know what thought processes go behind the things that artists do and I get it! I also understand how you would put this aside and wait for another inspiration. This is also the way I live and do things. What beautiful work!

  2. Not sure if this posted before or not, but I wanted to say that I really love this painting and the lady bug story behind it. Of course, the polka dot hat stands out ( in a beautiful way) and understanding how that came about really seals the beauty and artistry here. I am the same way in doing the things I do. I must be inspired and then the flow comes. Without that, it’s just not the name.

    • Thanks so much for your comment – this painting definitely had it’s own life that I had to respond to and be attentive to. There’s nothing better than being under a spell of inspiration, and a spell certainly occurred at the end of this painting. (although there’s always plenty of work to do when not inspired!) I suppose its a see-saw of inspiration and discipline, one creates the other – the moments of inspiration, for me, formulate beliefs that I try to carry out even after the flurry of energy has dissipated. In any case, many thanks for your comment, wish you the best with your pursuits!

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