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Shelly Johnson is a watercolor artist living

in Boise, Idaho. She grew up in the

San Fernando Valley in Southern California

and studied at UCLA and Art Center College

of Design in Pasadena, California. She earned

her BFA from Art Center in Advertising Illustration.

She has worked as an illustrator for books and magazines, as a muralist, and as a computer artist doing 3D modeling and animation for video games, but she has always maintained the intention to eventually be a full time painter. She is a member of the Idaho Watercolor Society since 2010, and is a regular participant in their annual Idaho Capitol Building and membership juried shows. She is currently an IWS Distinguished Merit Member after being accepted into several juried shows, where she won several awards and the opportunity to participate in their annual traveling show. She has sold her work through the traveling and Capitol shows. She has completed multiple watercolor paintings on commission, primarily paintings of children, since 2009.

In 2010, Shelly moved to Boise, Idaho, to live a slower, quieter life in an inspiring landscape. Her favorite painting subject is children, but she found a second love painting Idaho landscapes and wildlife. She works from provided reference from clients, and from her own photographs taken from around the state.


With her paintings of children, she has the opportunity to experience the innocence and joy of childhood and to preserve a moment in time for her clients. With her landscapes, she attempts to preserve the natural beauty of the landscape she experienced in person. She enjoys playing with color, light, and pattern, and believes the luminosity of her watercolor technique especially lends itself to showing off Idaho’s unique light. She believes a painting should draw the viewer in from a distance, and that there should be a reward in the details for drawing closer.

Shelly currently resides in Boise with her husband Bill and his Pudelpointer, Cooper.

Commissions and Pricing

For prices of paintings on this website, please inquire. Some paintings are already framed as noted.

Pricing below is for portraits, please inquire for pricing for paintings of other subjects.


Portraits by commission:

(Based on approximate size, these may vary based on subject matter, such as multiple faces in one painting.)

5” x 7” $250

10“ x 14“ $500

15” x 20” $750

20” x 24” $1000

(20" x 24" price includes 10 notecards)

Price includes matting, but does not include shipping or framing, and is based on your provided reference. I can arrange framing, prints, and cards.

Shows and Awards

Currently showing several framed smalls at Capitol Contemporary Gallery,

451 South Capitol Blvd in Boise.

Coming soon: Shelly will be the Artist of the Month at the Riverside Hotel in Boise during their "Joyful" month, April 2024.

"Ludo Coloring" made the 2023 Richeson75 Figure/Portrait competition and exhibition finalist list, and will be on view starting October 13, 2023 on "Grandma's Present" made the meritous list and was recognized as having artistic merit.

"Remi" (not shown, will be on view via NWS) accepted into the National Watercolor Society and Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour 2024 International Exchange Exhibition. This Online exhibition will run from January 6 to February 10, 2024 on, the NWS online Sales Gallery.


12 paintings of "People and Places" showed at the Initial Point Gallery at Meridian City Hall in Idaho September 4 to October 2, 2023.

"Josie's Recital" accepted into the American Watercolor Society 2023 Associate Members Online Show June 7 to August 20, 2023 on the AWS website.

"Girl with Shoes" showed at the 48th annual Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition in Dallas, Texas, May 6 to June 2, 2023.

2020 Richeson75 Animals, Birds & Wildlife Competition Meritous List for "Doe and Fawns at Fall River"

Idaho Watercolor Society Distinguished Merit Member accepted into IWS Juried Annual Membership Shows 2011, 2012, 2013, 2019, 2021, and 2022

First Place Winner 2022 IWS Juried Annual Membership Show 

HK Holbein Artist Materials Award Winner 2021 IWS Juried Annual Membership Show

Golden Artist Colors Award Winner 2019 IWS Juried Annual Membership Show

HK Holbein Award Winner 2013 IWS Annual Membership Show

IWS Capitol Show participant since 2011

Acceptance into Boise's Art Source Gallery 17th and 19th Annual Juried Shows (2019 and 2022) with Honorable Mention in 2019

"Idaho Paints Idaho" 2011

Art Museum of Eastern Idaho, Idaho Falls

Westlake Village Art Guild Open Show 2010

Westlake Village Art Guild Open Show 2009

2010 - present
2010 - present
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