I recently had a chance to chat with Alabama Artist Emily Johnson. She had quite a story for us and some amazing art as well. Her pieces are unique and would look amazing hanging on any wall of your home. Below is a little bit about Emily in her own words. Enjoy!
“I grew up in a small town in Alabama on the most gorgeous lake ever – Lake Martin. Most of my life has involved the water! My brother, sister, and I grew up water skiing before and after my parents went to work, swimming almost every day, and exploring the lake with my family as much as we could. In the summers, we would fish in the afternoon and night, catching bream, crappie and catfish. As my siblings and I became older, we started spending our vacations at the beach – and when I say beach, I really mean the bay. We would go shrimping in our little john boat, scoot around to different sandy locations and snorkel. Our whole family loved it. We also were all scuba certified at some point during that timeline – and began scuba diving regularly as well! I remember so vividly during some of the dives, my brother and dad would spear fish while diving, and sharks would follow them as they speared fish. My sister and I would stay 20 feet above them looking down, because we were terrified of diving with sharks!
When I was in college, my dad purchased a big fishing boat – it wasn’t anything fancy – more like a big RV that floated. We would find little canals on the bay to camp there for the weekend and stay up fishing right off the back of the boat and eat what we caught. My dad quickly started learning about deep sea fishing. Our family loved it, and we started taking people out fishing with us. We had so many fun adventures on that boat. We caught all kinds of gorgeous fish like snapper, grouper, mackerel, amberjack, tuna, and wahoo. My biggest catch was a gorgeous cobia!
I met my husband, Scott, when I was living in Birmingham, a couple of years out of college. I was kind of interested in him, and on our third or fourth date, he mentioned that he grew up camping and fly fishing with his brothers and dad, and it was one of his most favorite things to do. I thought then and there, I think I like this guy! Just a couple of months into dating, I went to the Smokey Mountains with his family, and Scott begin to teach me how to fly fish. It was so different from all the other fishing I had ever done. I put on the waders and vest, had my long rod, and my net attached to me, and I really thought that I may hate this as I waddled into the creek with him. However, as soon as we were out in the water, the whole world disappeared, and I quickly fell in love with fly fishing. Compare to every other type of fishing I’ve done, this one was so peaceful.
I loved everything about it, being in the river in the mountains, the air was cool and crisp, and it was tranquil. The actual fishing was interesting to me – having to think about what types of flies to use, where and how to cast your rod, what to do when you had a bite. There was a good bit of logic behind fly fishing, and it was a lot of fun! Since then, I can honestly say, fly fishing is my most favorite type of fishing. We have been married now for five years, I joke to him it was the fly fishing trip that sold me on him! We have two kids, Ellie who is 4 years old and Jake who is 2 years old. Any time we go in any type of outdoors store, my husband wants to check out the kids waders! He can’t wait to teach them. As far as him teaching me, I am slowing becoming better each time we go! I did take a casting class at Orvis with mother-in-law, and it was super helpful as well. Scott is the best teacher however, and he cooks really great trout over the campfire.
As much as the water has been a part of my life, art has been there too. I would bring my sketch book and draw on the back of the boat as we were riding around on the lake or bay – sketching whatever I saw. I quickly had an interest in drawing nature, especially birds and fish. My first art contest I ever entered in 8th grade was of a gorgeous angel fish I had painted from our trip down to the Florida Keys. I went to college at Samford University and studied nursing. I really wanted to pursue a degree in art, but my wise parents encouraged me to get a degree that could support a career in art. Nursing has done exactly that for me! I was a nurse for the past 9 years, and now, I am mom to our kids and run my art business. I first painted the rainbow trout (that is currently in my Etsy shop) for my husband after our mountain trip – he loved it so much I did him the brown trout as well. I have plans to do many more freshwater fish, as well as a saltwater series. I like to paint fish I have caught before, so I guess to my husband’s delight, we need to go fishing! “
Check out her shop at https://www.etsy.com/shop/EmilyJohnsonArt