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Classic Finds | House Portraits

Virginia Johnson


Being a Canadian myself I'm always on the look out for fellow northerners who are classic style talents and Virginia Johnson (of virginiajohnson.com) is just that. Her repertoire includes having worked with such brands like J.Crew, Anthropologie and Kate Spade in addition to having been featured in O. Magazine, VOGUE and House & Home. She's a very talented textile designer and an artist extraordinaire but I'm most obsessed with her unique service where she will capture your own home (from a photo) in a darling custom watercolour painting using exquisite detail-now how classic is that! There is just something so dear, so quintessentially tasteful about having a painting of your own beautiful home's facade captured and proudly on display.


I see this type of artwork being displayed in any timeless home in a variety of different ways paying homage to the structure it resides in. Whether on the mantel of a picture perfect lakeside home, in the office of a portly countryside manor, in a vignette behind a sofa in an elegant apartment or in the entryway of a darling little cottage, what a statement it would make. This would also be a unique and wonderful gift to give as a housewarming item or for newlyweds. And when I spotted that one of the paintings she had done had been commissioned for a Christmas card, well that just put the cherry on top, custom cards with a painting of your home on it....that's just plain sensational!


Virginia will also paint home interiors, but I have to say the exteriors are by far my favourite, here is some of her work.



"An elegant brownstone in New York’s historic West Village. Trailing vines and flowering window boxes add colour, and a Callery pear tree breaks up the flat plane of the brownstone facades."

Private Residence | West Village | New York | virginiajohnson.com

"This illustration was commissioned for a holiday card. The building has a classic, pre-war facade with lots of opportunity for detail in the windows and iron railing, but was mostly monochromatic. I added colour through holiday details like cedar garlands, wreaths, and ribbons, and we included the owner’s little dog peeking out from their second-floor apartment."

Private Residence | Upper East Side | New York | virginiajohnson.com

"A small vignette, in this case an entry I painted for Deborah Needleman's book The Perfectly Imperfect Home (Clarkson Potter, 2011). Sometimes a small corner contains more charm than the whole house!"

Spanish Entry | Interior | virginiajohnson.com

"A rendering of John Derian’s new West Village shop. A relatively simple, white facade is given life with the overgrown wisteria vine and bright hollyhocks in little pots. This illustration was commissioned to run alongside a story in The Wall Street Journal."

John Derian Shop | West Village | New York | virginiajohnson.com

"The clapboard cottage of a family friend on the northern shores of Lake Erie. The charm of this cottage is as much on the outside as the inside. I decided the landscape around the house - the century-old trees and the lake right out front - were essential to include in this house portrait to convey the drama of the surroundings."


Cottage | Lake Erie | Canada | virginiajohnson.com

Interior | illustrationdivision.com

Interior | illustrationdivision.com

Interior | illustrationdivision.com