Born in 1957 in Toronto, Ontario, Mark Johnson moved with his family to Brantford, Ontario at the age of 11. Always a deep reader, as well as showing a strong interest in the visual arts, Mark would bike around and about this small southwestern Ontario city in search of the perfect place to bring a book, or go exploring the countryside and the Grand River watershed that runs through it. Accepting an entrance scholarship to the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at York University in Toronto, Mark spent 2 years there before leaving to go travelling across Canada. He started a family in Brantford and spent the next 25 years there focused on his family and his work in the print industry. Ongoing college and gallery studio courses supplemented his Graphic Art professional training. In the last few years, after rededicating himself to his art Mark began to exhibit in local juried art shows. A change in family circumstance brought Mark to Toronto, starting afresh with a new partner and family. He is now fitting himself into the art community in a more dedicated pursuit of his vision. With this metamorphosis, Mark continues to explore the contours and roots of his environment using his unique eye and sense of wonder and whimsy.



“Surfacing” was me using my paints and brushes to muse about what a surface is. I wondered about scale, and at what scale does a surface become contained. Teasing out cycles, I will generally take a lot of time in a re-iterative exploration of form, depth & nuance in my painting and drawing. The art gradually reveals to me it’s own relationships and inner structure. My unique eyes allows me to enjoy a unique vision. The whale was a whimsical spirit acting as Gaia’s powerful,

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CatLynn – Our Cat Tree Dancer

My Lady told me she wanted an outdoor cat tree on our back deck. There is a wood wall that covers a sealed doorway. It would be the perfect place to put some sort of cat perch for our Furry Fellows George & Ulysses. She had the happy thought that I would make a Tree Dancer for cats as its structure. I was stalled on how to design and construct her proposed outdoor cat tree dancer. So I snapped at her suggestion we design one and commission a metal worker to build it. 

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Intuition Space – The Place Where Poetry and Art Meet

“Night Bird”

Intuition space.


A piece that is open, surprising, satisfying, and speaks in unscripted ways is better for being that way.

I’ve often realized the power of artistic trust. There is wonder and whimsy in abundance when I don’t plan and plot and iron all the mystery out of art.

Poetry is the creative build, the dance between the inner world outside of ourselves and our own inner being. Art is concretely realizing this dance in a sharing manner.

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Sketches While She Works – Honeymoon Gleanings from the Middle East

Unfortunately, she has to pay the bills so I had some spare time in hotels while she worked on presentations or actually was on site. I got a few concept sketches done, my own form of productivity in such a setting. Here are quick iPhone snaps of some pages in my 8-1/2″x11″ black hardcover sketchbook. We spent much of our time being tourists or in transit. I wasn’t interested in documenting with my pencil (my cameras did that) so my sketchbook took on a different task.

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W.I.P. Whale Dream drawing

Whale Dream is something I’ve been wanting to visit for a while now. There ought to be a few drawings I can pull out of this general theme. This one is the first – 17″ x 23″ finished size.

Just for the heck of it, I’m putting a photo of the piece as it currently sits on the easel in my studio. The clamps that are holding the (well sanded) wood strips on either side of the plexiglass drawing board allow me to easily move my mahl stick to any orientation while I’m working.

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Quotes I’m Sharing 4 – Wounds and Love

“You don’t need another human being to make your life complete, but let’s be honest. Having your wounds kissed by someone who doesn’t see them as disasters in your soul but cracks to put their love into is the most calming thing in this world.”  Emery Allen 

A healing balm for a lover is life’s true blessing.

Today I am staying clear of the bellicosity entailed in the January 20, 2017 Washington DC inauguration of  Trump. For me up here in my own little Canadian world I stay warm with thoughts of of all the wonderful ways my Lady blesses my life 🙂


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Quotes I’m Sharing – 3 – Vision


“If the doors of perception were cleansed,
everything would appear to man as it is,

William Blake

Our lack of sight defines us.
That definition of ourselves is constantly refined and outright changed by scientists, physicists and mathematicians, by philosophers, writers and artists. Their work shows us what we don’t see, where we lack sight. They make visible the negative spaces and dark matter and energy that interweave what we think is the whole of the perceivable universe.

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Quotes I’m Sharing – 1

The long view. The big picture. A slice of reality that gives context to the larger reality that we are ripples on the intersection of the infinite seas called Deep Space and Deep Time.

“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded,

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