You can almost smell Corrina Johnson's paintings.

Her watercolors, many of them depicting flowers, are on display through Dec. 30 at the Carroll County Office Building, 225 N. Center St., Westminster.

Mrs. Johnson has lived in Eldersburg for 17 1/2 years. She started painting in 1986 but did not show her work until 1989.

"Watercolor is a difficult medium," she said. "I didn't think my stuff was good enough."

She said it took three years to produce paintings that she wanted shown because "when you first start watercolors, you throw out more than you keep."

She has taken private lessons and a few classes at what was Catonsville Community College in Carroll County.

Her pieces have won several awards, including a blue ribbon at the Loyola Festival of Arts in Baltimore in September.

Many of her paintings are of nature scenes, evidence of her love of the outdoors.

"I love to garden," she said. "I do a lot of flowers and still life."

"I work from photographs," she explained.

"Usually I'll see things or a nice idea will come into my head."

She recently ventured into oil painting because, she said, she could "never do impressionistic work in watercolors."

Watercolor, however, is her primary medium.

"I think that you can get effects with watercolors that you can't get with other mediums," she said.

"I like the transparency of it, and sometimes, happy accidents occur."

Her one-woman show features more than 15 of her works hanging in the office building.

She was selected by the Carroll County Artists Guild.

"I have hung there before [last year] and they seem to like my work," Mrs. Johnson said.

"She does beautiful watercolor work," said Lillian Osten, coordinator for the Artists Guild.

"Any one that would go over there to see it would be well pleased," she added.

Mrs. Johnson has passed her love of art on to her youngest daughter, Dana.

Ms. Johnson, 24, graduated with a commercial art degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 1991. She won the Maryland Wine Festival Poster Contest in 1990.

Mrs. Johnson also has a few of her paintings for sale at the Gallery on Main in Hampstead.

Because she is a member of the Maryland Art League, Maryland Art Guild, Frederick Art Club, and Baltimore Watercolor Society, among other organizations, she almost always has something being shown.

"It tickles me to death when someone wants to buy something," she said. "Not so much the money, but that they like it that much."

She is always looking for a way to make her work better.

"I think every artist is fighting with himself," she said. "You are never totally pleased."

Between painting and spending time with her husband, three daughters and three grandchildren, Mrs. Johnson is kept busy.

But she does not envision herself retiring soon.

"I'm going to be a Grandma Moses one of these days," she said.

Any artist interested in displaying work at the Carroll County Office Building should call Lillian Osten at 848-9277.

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