Johnnie H. Dew

     Johnnie Dew creates portraits of subjects ranging from young to old incorporating various styles including stunning photo-realism to a more subtle painterly style.  He likes to paint his subjects in the environment they feel most comfortable usually their homes, utilizing props, furniture, specific backdrops, pets etc.  He works primarily in Pastel, the purest means of applying pigment to a surface, but also enjoys Graphite as well.  Johnnie would prefer to paint from life, but often uses photos only as a means of reference. This is especially helpful when painting a portrait of a child. 
      Largely self –taught Johnnie Dew as an artist is emerging as “standout in a room” amongst contemporary painters. Although Johnnie has not had any formal training he did take an art class in high school not for the art but rather because he was told it was an easy class. One day, however in that art class they were asked to draw whatever they wanted to and he quickly found a beautiful girl across from him and picked up the pastels in his desk and began to paint her.  The result was an incredible likeness, so much so that the art teacher told him that he had incredible talent and should put together a portfolio because he felt he could go to any school he chose.  Johnnie continued to draw throughout that remaining year, having become renown amongst his peers. Unfortunately after his junior year he did not pursue his God given ability but rather got caught up in a lot of teenage snares. 
     As a young man in his twenties Johnnie came to Christ and his life was changed. He was married to his wife Kathy in August of 1978. They moved to Ann Arbor where they raised and home schooled their five children.  Unfortunately Johnnie was hurt on his job at Ford Motor Co. and after having two back surgeries, which left him with permanent nerve damage, and chronic pain he was forced to go on medical retirement at the young age of 32.   This was a devastating turn of events, which not only affected Johnnie but the entire family for many years.  It was not until February of 2004 when attending his mother’s funeral he saw an old high school buddy who asked him if he had continued to paint, that he was inspired once again to pick up his pastels and begin to paint. Thus began this wonderful journey!
     After a solid fifteen months of painting it was soon apparent to his family and friends that he had been given an extraordinary gift, and it has since become his passion.  In the last year he has had the privilege to study briefly with one of the most renowned pastel artist in the world, Mr. Daniel Greene. Mr. Dew has also been accepted as a member of the Portrait Society of America. 
      Johnnie says, “ I am grateful that I did not begin painting earlier in life because I think that I would have been so dependent upon myself.  Also painting would have taken me in a totally different direction and perhaps I would not have met my wife or had the precious family I have now. I believe everything has a purpose and it all happens in God’s perfect time.  All of the things I have learned over these years including all of the trials will surely affect how I paint now.   My goal is not just to create a physical likeness of a person, but also to capture the depth and beauty of who they are - a work of art that will be treasured and passed down as a family heirloom for generations to come”.
     “I am excited about the future and I just want to be a blessing to each life I have the privilege to touch in this wonderful venture!”