Tuesday, May 28, 2019

After a stroke, local musician Erin Johns finds comfort in all-new art form

The artist debuts works at first-ever exhibit on Tues. June 4

Posted by Kelly Rae Smith on Tue, May 28, 2019 at 8:25 AM

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You may be familiar with the sounds of local musician Erin Johns, but ever since suffering a stroke last year, the singer has been unable to write songs. "Words in general are just crappy," Johns says. So the artist has turned to another art form: painting.

Keep in mind, the Johns had never painted a thing prior to August of 2018. "I've never painted before — never any visual art, ever," she says.

Suddenly, that was the only way she could express herself. "I started painting because I definitely had pictures in my mind," Johns says. "And as an artist — whatever medium — I had to emote those feelings. It would be awful if I couldn’t."

Getting the feelings out and documented is the most important thing for an artist like Johns. "I think songwriting and painting are similar in that I can't help it," she says. "I have to emote. Or I'm gonna go nuts. I go to this place I can’t explain and surrender to it. I have to. It won’t let me sleep — I'd try to ignore it."

On Tues. June 4, Johns will hold her very first art exhibit at Orange Spot Coffeehouse, where you can expect to find works that focus on nothing in particular, with her acrylics on canvas typically ranging from anything from self-portraits and still art to abstracts and landscapes. Johns goes wherever her newfound visual creativity takes her.

"It all has to do with how I feel about the stroke," Johns says, "how I feel about anything. That’s also how it’s similar to songwriting. I write from my life. I paint from my life."

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