Tag Archives: studio

New Blood Warrior fabric patches + pins


Last night my friend Greg from the band blood warrior hung out and made some diy patches on fabric and some pins. I recently had the pleasure of designing his new album for the band which will be released in a few months and we have been brainstorming little merch ideas for him to have until the record is released. We are also working on a tshirt design that will be printed at a later time.

Greg also sings for the band o’death which have been a favorite of mine for awhile. If you are a fan of that band you will probably also like blood warrior. It is much more stripped down and has less instruments. Take a listen here, and look out for the new album Letter Ghost.









Desk Shot 4.28.2014

kris johnsen 2014

Studio Shot 4.22.2014

Kris Johnsen studio 2014

A shot from my clean studio last night in preparation for a college class visit that happened today.

Wood panel building process

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Over the past week I’ve taken onto myself to build two large wood panels made from old weathered looking wood. Most were picked up at my favorite architectural salvage place in Maine and others were taken from old wood pallets that litter the back parking lots of Portland’s East Bayside area. Really, if you need pallets, go there!

Doing this little project I recently picked up a new jigsaw and electric sander so I don’t have to barrow these things from friends anymore which I feel like I’ve been having to do more and more lately. Below you’ll find a few process pictures from making these things. One panel is a little more ‘new’ looking since I had to sand the wood down a bit to make it more uniform since some of the wood was weathered more then other panels. The panel made from pallets, which you can see in the above picture, has not been sanded at all and I think I’ll leave it that way.

The reason for making these panels is to use them as backdrops for my new t-shirts and posters to give my online stores a more uniform look, taking pictures of all of my things on the same backdrop rather then a white wall or me holding each of them.

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Kris Johnsen Art Blog 2014

Hold down the Fort! Saving Fort Foreclosure!


In this video above you will see artist William Schaff who has recently put together an Indiegogo campaign to help his studio in Warren, RI keep going strong! Please read Will’s intro to the campaign below…

“My Name is William Schaff. As most of you here know, I have been a working artist for the the last 20 some odd years or so. I have started this campaign because the studio and home that both myself, and the band, Brown Bird, inhabit is again in Foreclosure. I am looking to make this stop, once and for all, and I am hoping you can help. Please check out the rewards I offer for contributing, and see if there is anything that catches your fancy. I’ve tried to make sure that each of you, no matter your situation, can be part of this effort. If we are not able to raise all the money, what is raised shall still go towards covering the mortgage, and dealing with the utilities. Keeping the Fort, out of foreclosure.”

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Will many times over the years when his band the What Cheer? Brigade have played in Maine and eventually on one of those trips up we discussed me coming down to his studio and home, Fort Foreclosure he jokingly called it, which I think has become the official name by now.
William has become one of my favorite artists since graduating from art school and finding my own way through this crazy world of art. His art has stuck out to me since first seeing it on the Godspeed You! Black Emperor’s 2000 release ‘Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven’ in which I also have the album cover tattooed on my arm. So ya, it means a lot to me!

I eventually made that trip down to Warren to spend almost a whole week at Will’s place not really knowing what to expect or what kind of art I was going to make. All I really knew was this was sure going to get me out of my comfort zone which was what the whole trip was about. It was pretty eye opening and fun and a bit cold I’d have to say but was a great trip and very nice of Will to let me into his world and home to work on my own art but also to take a peek at how Will handles being a working artist and dealing with the day to day.

So that being said please check out Will’s Indiegogo here. It works much like Kickstarter where you can donate money and also donate money that has great rewards, some of those awards being a chance to be able to stay at the Fort as well as different forms of art. Even if you have a dollar that would help. Also one thing I really loved about hanging out in this space was Will’s open door policy, while I was only there for a short time I met tons of locals who stopped by all the time and saw how friendly this studio really was even though at first glance it may seems a bit scary or intimidating. I know I was a bit intimidated walking in that door the first time, haha.
So consider helping out the Fort and helping Will be able to pay some bills so he can get back to making art!

Also the band Brown Bird lives upstairs! One of my favorites.

Below you will find a few shots I took from the Fort and you can view the whole blog post from the visit here.
William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff - Fort Foreclosure. Photo by Kris Johnsen

William Schaff Studio visit


Last week I had the great honor to hang out with William Schaff in his Warren, Rhode Island studio and home. This has been in the works for a few months now ever since Will and his band the What Cheer? Brigade started playing at Space Gallery, the Arts and Music venue I worked at awhile back. I spent the good amount of a week making and talking art with Will in his studio. I worked on my own work at the studio and also got to see how Will, a very established working artist, works in his own space. It was great to get out of Portland and work on different work in a different place, it got me out of my comfort zone which is something I needed. I worked on a few panels during the week as well as tried a few new techniques like scratch board and drawing on wood. Some of the pieces I worked on are featured below, I will try and get good pictures of the pieces I made later this week.

The time I spent there was a great experience and I hope to make my way back there in the future! Here’s a bunch of pictures from the week in Rhode Island in Will’s amazing and inspirational studio. I plan to keep working on certain things I started in the studio and also want to keep working on more on-of-a-kind pieces and not as many digital art pieces.



MECA Illustration Class visit

A few weeks ago I had a MECA Seniors illustration class visit my studio and Pickwick Independent Press. i talked a good amount about my backround and printing in general. This past week I visited MECA, showed them how to burn their own images into screens and print them using very basic print set ups.
You can read teacher, Jamie Hogan’s blog write up about the day here.

All photos are by Jamie Hogan!