ART on the Square Gallery

guest artist

Monnie Johnson

Monnie was born in 1956 in rural Dillon, SC, a town more noted for the glitzy South of the Border tourist attraction than fine art. He started life with an innate talent so good that his 4th grade teacher accused him of tracing a portrait of George Washington rather than applauding the free-hand copy he’d actually done. Meanwhile at home, young Monnie’s father felt work on the farm was more important than his art and that farming took precedence over all.

His mother encouraged Monnie by providing supplies for his drawings and doodling, and intervening with his Dad to allow for him to use available spare time for drawing. Monnie later studied under Charleston watercolor artist, Billie Sumner. 

Monnie first exhibited at the Charleston Piccolo Spoleto Outdoor Art Exhibition in 1987; then, although his work was well accepted, he resumed focus on his family and career for close to 20 years by returning as an officer in The United States Air Force. Upon retirement in 2002, he pondered returning to Piccolo and did so in 2005. He has been exhibiting every year since.

Monnie loves to focus on light, the use of broad brush strokes, and color. He delights in the rainy season here in Charleston…loves the reflections of objects and people on the glistening sidewalks. It’s the mood of the moment that Monnie captures in those rainy day pieces of art.

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