Lowell artist Jan Y. Johnson leaves a dichotomous legacy.
Mrs. Johnson with more than five decades of watercolor and acrylic painting has left a legacy both in the real arts world, as well as in the digital arts sphere on the WordPress platform.
At the age of 87, Mrs. Johnson has entered the digital sphere with the story IW Inspiring Women on Feb. 3, 2017. She contacted me for a story on the EW journal one week prior to the Champagne & Chocolates Event at the Flat River Gallery in downtown Lowell, held on Feb. 11. Mrs. Johnson passed away on Feb. 20.
The rest is history. Rest in peace dear Mrs. Janet Y. Johnson.
Thank you for your vision, and never ending inspiration.
Have you been through the publishing odyssey between agents, traditional publishing houses and self-publishing?
I have been on this route for the last 28 years, and I have learned a lot about the publishing, the filming and the arts industries, as well as about myself. I traveled this path as a print media journalist who swapped ink for the digital WordPress platform in 2013 with the first post published on Jan. 15.
I am an author, journalist, writer, screenwriter, designer, photographer and an entrepreneur of Emma Blogs, LLC, based in Lowell, MIchigan. That is professionally. I am also a human being: a mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, and a grandmother. Some people call me, Mrs. Emma.
And I am somebody’s aunt, a Godmother and a”babe.”
How many different hats can a writer wear? Many. But the real question is, “Which is the right hat, and where do we hang it? Where do we put what?
My new friends like T.G., Barb and Wendy, think I am a geek. Ask my old artistic friends like Tom and Pam Woodruff of Leland, or Eva Laurencikova of Kromeriz, Czech Republic, “Who am I?”
I started my own flagship blog EW Emma’s Writing on http://emmapalova.com after advise from agents to build up the Emma Palova name brand in pursuit of publishing Greenwich Meridian (c) 2017, a memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga, @emmapalova@ludekpala now spanning three generations.
The mission of Emma Blogs, LLC
Over the four years of my publishing journey on WordPress, I have diversified into providing an advertising platform for others on the Emma Blogs portfolio, creating blogs for other people, publishing and most recently re-branding old structures into new designs. In Russia, they called it “Perestroika.”
Opportunities await if we keep our minds open to them
You guessed it, the “Wasteland” (c) 2017 theme park is on my mind. After all, who doesn’t want to re-do a theme park or the arts sphere? Stay tuned for more on this.
Re-branding and re-structuring into new designs
I have assisted in the digital re-do of the Fallasburg Historical Society (FHS) organization founded by a group of women in 1965, who used to get together somewhere on the grounds of the Fallasburg Park, into a digital conglomerate, known around the world.
The FHS slogan now is, “The next 50 years of Fallasburg.”
When asked about the direction of the Fallasburg historical organization, president Ken Tamke said the goal is to spread the word about the Fallasburg village on the Internet, and then people may actually find the hamlet in the northeast Kent County.
Currently, I am working with the arts community of the greater Lowell area to create a new palette.
Thai wind 1 by Kacey Cornwell, Art Prize entry
Prague horloge on the Old Town Hall by “I love Czech Republic” group
You can call or e-mail Emma for a re-branding consultation as we fly fast toward 2020. Don’t wait around. You can do your research, but make a move now, or we will all miss the train. One person cannot rebuild an empire overnight.
My publishing ventures on Edition Emma
Join me on my explorations of the publishing industry on both platforms; print and digital. Like most of my friends, authors and artists, I’ve learned the hard way; endless rejections, phone calls from sales people from different Publishing Houses that are now going digital.
Being constantly broke, I had to get more resourceful than just waiting around for a publishing prince to arrive on a white horse at my doorstep. He or she never did.
I also looked for the magical publishing white horse in the actual zoo as a kind sign that I might find an avenue one day.
That’s why I rolled out the blogging/writing portfolio, Emma Blogs, LLC in the summer of 2014.
Part of the portfolio is my own Publishing House Edition Emma (c) 2017 copyright. All rights reserved.
If you want to get published, submit your work to Edition Emma. Looking forward to seeing your work.
Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.
There is something about the month of February, you can call it atmospheric . I was thinking that even before I heard that at a therapeutic meeting earlier this week.
Maybe it’s the overall ambience of the month in between the deep freeze of January and the much coveted arrival of spring in March. If I were to pin the season to the catholic calendar, it is usually the purple time of Lent, except for this year since Lent arrives late with Ash Wednesday falling on March 1.
“Everything is going to be late this year,” my husband Ludek, a chronic complainer, said. “We’re going to have a late Easter.”
No kidding, the Easter Sunday falls on April 16 this year. But, the good news is, the trees here Up North in Michigan will have leaves, and maybe even early blossoms and spring flowers.
We had rain on Tuesday, grayish nothing on Wednesday, a deep freeze on Thursday along with a creepy full moon, and now we are recovering from 20 plus minus degree temperature swings as the work week finally wraps up.
My body” loves” these roller coaster temperatures, and my mind and mood swing accordingly with them.
With the sunshine on Monday, I was at a reasonable high as I met with friends at the “Gathering Place” to discuss progress in our common therapy.
“You know, this really works, let’s do it next Monday again,” T. G. as always was very encouraging.
“I have a lot more stories to tell,” said our new buddy Wendy.
And the mid-week meeting somewhere in the woods next to the old stage-coach road was also a success, all things considered.
Van Gogh painted the Starry Night in Saint Remy.
This is my story.
I do feel grateful for this overall February gap in between the novelty of the new year 2017 and the onset of spring. This February gap finally allowed me to fill the empty spaces on my huge 17-months desktop calendar with my creative work.
Along with Ludek, we made an executive decision that I will self-publish my collection of short stories “Glass Flowers” Copyright (c)2017 Emma Palova. On Thursday, I started pulling the collection of 20-some short stories together after literally years of searching the publishing “maze.”
That search included everything from participating in Writer’s Digest Annual Writing Contests, submitting my short stories to literary magazines, of which, many no longer exist, submitting manuscripts to Writer’s Conferences and of course looking for an agent.
This all-inclusive escapade involved interviews with sales people from several publishing houses that have gone the self-publishing route as well.
“You know Amazon is moving quite fast on this,” said the sales person from Author’s Publish. “We’re keeping an eye on them.”
“Thank you Mr. E. for the tip,” I concluded a series of several hour-long phone interviews after my ear almost fell off. I decided to join the self-publishing mainstream.
Stay tuned for more of my “Publishing Escapades.” Have a great weekend, and a great February. Don’t forget it’s the month of the heart and love. Valentine’s Day is on Tuesday, Feb. 14.
Also some neat events this weekend include:
“Champagne and chocolates” at the Flat River Gallery in downtown Lowell this Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
I suffer from insomnia on any given night, let alone when we have a full moon or a super moon.
This morning I woke up at 12:15 a.m. all giddy thinking it was at least 3 a.m. To my huge dismay after tossing around in bed for two hours, I got out of bed to find out that it was only 2: 30 a.m.
Even though I get a lot done in my head, the open sleepless nights are driving me nuts.
However, I credit them for many of my creative works like “Parnell White Nights” (c) 2017, manuscript in progress.
Stay tuned for updates.
Tonight when we were driving home after dinner at a restaurant, I saw the full moon rising up from the east. The sky was still blue and bright, because the sun was still setting on the west. I wish I had a video camera to film both the sun and the moon in the sky. But the sky was getting darker and darker. I just concentrated on taking the photos of the moon. From the first picture of the moon in the blue sky to the last picture of the moon in a completely dark sky, there was only a ten-minute period. I included the February, 2017 Moon Phases calendar, and a description of the Moon Phases. Source: https://stardate.org/nightsky/moon
Longtime artist inspires generations embedded in Lowell area
By Emma Palova
EW Emma’s Writings
Note: The IW winter series, which leads up to the International Women’s Day on March 8, features women from all walks of life who continue to inspire others in our communities.
Their positions in the society are not measured by money or the accolades they receive, but by contributions to progress and well-being of all.
Nominate a woman who has inspired you for the series.
Lowell, MI – Artist Janet Y. Johnson, 86, is an icon. Together with artists late David Davis and current Kathleen Mooney, they have created an artistic legacy for generations embedded in the greater Lowell area.
Johnson has been a staple at the Flat River Gallery & Framing in downtown Lowell with countless exhibits of watercolor and acrylic paintings.
The gallery will celebrate its fourth anniversary with the “Let’s celebrate” event with champagne and chocolates on Feb. 11 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Johnson recalls all the great years of exhibiting and painting in the Lowell area.
“They’re all realistic paintings,” said Johnson about her work.
Some of them go as far back as to the heydays of another icon, the Lowell Showboat on the Flat River in the 1950s.
“I used to sing on it, and then I painted it,” Johnson said during a recent interview at her home.
As we looked at the dark blue watercolor painting of the Showboat with strings of lights floating on the Flat River hanging in the detached studio, one could imagine the lively atmosphere on the deck.
You could almost hear the voices singing:
“Here comes the Showboat.”
Johnson sold two paintings of the Showboat and bought one back when the owner stated, that the painting should stay in the Lowell area.
Johnson has lived in the Lowell area for 57 years.
Growing up on a farm in Alto, Johnson acquired a natural affinity to all animals.
Johnson studied animal drawing at the Ringling College of Art & Design in Sarasota, FL and graduated in 1951.
Prior to that, she studied at the Kendall College of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, and worked as a publication designer for Amway in the 70s.
“It was a wonderful place to work,” she said.
Among her favorites are vivid paintings of exotic animals in circus settings.
Johnson’s most recent watercolor painting is of the Miller Circus which performed in Lowell last August after the fair. She will hang the painting of the circus at the gallery for the new February show.
According to Johnson, the circus ringmaster at the Miller Circus was connected to the Ringlings.
Johnson spent most of 2016 illustrating the children’s book “Gertie Goose.”
“It’s a story about bullying,” said Johnson.
Pat Markle, former teacher of Hastings Schools, wrote the book. This was the third project for the author illustrator duo during the last decade.
The book is available at the Lowell Arts and at the Flat River galleries for $15.
“Gertie Goose” was published by J-Ad Graphics of Hastings in 2016.