Columbus-based artist to showcase romantic paintings at local gallery event

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Local artist Shelley Dawn Johnson said she started painting in the past year to distract herself from the stresses of life. Her “Love Stories” collection will be on display at Wanderlust Studio on Saturday. Credit: Courtesy of Tiffany Wedekind

Local artist Shelley dawn johnson “Love Stories” is for art lovers who have a weakness for romance.

Wandering envy studio, located at 1603 S. 4th St., will host the Columbus native and showcase the artwork from her “Love Stories” painting series on Saturday. Each month the studio hosts a local artist to exhibit their work and mingle with members of the community, but this month’s guest is different from the rest, said studio owner Tiffany Wedekind.

“Shelley has been a longtime friend,” Wedekind said. “We are very close spirits. “

Wedekind said she and Johnson spend a lot of time together, so when she first noticed Johnson’s passion for art, she jumped at the chance to host her friend in her studio.

“I came over one day, and she had this thing in her little room, and I was like, ‘You should have an art show at my house,'” Wedekind said.

Johnson said the initial jump in painting was nerve-racking. She said she was not very artistic growing up and never saw herself as a creative person until she became an adult.

“As I got older and started – as an adult – to do different things, I realized that ‘Oh my God, creativity is in everything you do,’” Johnson said. “It’s a lot of the inhibition and fear that keeps people from trying new things because they think they’re going to suck, so they don’t. As I lost that inhibition and fear, I was more willing to try new things.

Johnson said she started her painting career in the past year as a distraction from her stressors and as a way to try something new.

“It really started where I was going to paint more frequently and take it a little more seriously over the past 12 months,” Johnson said. “I still consider myself to be very new, but I had actually started painting very here and there a few years ago. “

After some experimenting with different styles and landscapes, Johnson said she fell in love with catching love. From there, she said she created a series of romantic paintings titled “Love Stories,” which will be on display at the gallery.

Johnson said the most magical part of his “Love Stories” paintings is that each one features the silhouette of a couple placed in front of a different and detailed scene.

“It sounds so simple, these love story characters, but it evokes emotions, really makes people think and they connect with that kind of thing,” Wedekind said.

With romance in mind, Johnson said she hopes those who attend the gallery event can feel the magic of love.

“I tell people, come on and fall in love,” Johnson said. “Bring your partner, fall in love again or come single and find someone. ”

Staying on the theme of a romantic evening, Wedekind said the event will feature champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. Johnson and Wedekind said they both hope attendees see the “Love Stories” showcase as a chance to mingle and enjoy the night.

“There is no dress code, but I would love to see people dress up,” Johnson said. “You know, just have a night where they feel that energy, where they feel good about themselves.”

Johnson said his work will be on sale at Wanderlust Studio during the free Saturday 6-9pm event, along with his book “My Secret Escape”.

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