By Gloria Perkins
Artist & Friend
My Tribute to Johnnie Liliedahl
As many of you may know by now, my very dear friend, Johnnie Liliedahl, has lost her brave and courageous battle with cancer and left us. The entire art world has lost a gifted artist and teacher…I have lost a very dear friend. It makes me very sad that I will not be spending time with her again, but I am grateful for all that she gave to us all while she was here. Her greatest legacy is people like you and me, whom she shared what is good about life. She loved life. She was also a master painter and shared these skills with all of us in the Art Community.
My husband and I were in Florida when she told me that the last scan showed that the tumor had continued to grow with this last treatment and had attacked her spine, causing her intolerable pain. The report was that there was no other treatment that could be offered. While she was still at home, prior to going into Hospice, we were able to begin saying our good-byes to each other. We talked a lot about art and she was so excited about my return to France. Her art spirit was high.
Johnnie and I had a friendship and bond with each other that many would never understand….since most never experience this. There was nothing that we did not discuss with each other, and we had no secrets. We would give each other honest feedback and advice even if it was not what we wanted to hear. We adored each other so that we both ‘wanted to grow up and be like the other.’ I have so many fond memories of her, and mostly about our laughter. I would tell her how I would love to have hair like hers, and she would reply ‘so you want to hold a hair dryer each morning for 30 minutes’! The time she called me a ‘Femme Fatale’ and my ‘Kelly Pickler’ voice said ‘what’s that’? She would get hysterical! I could go on about these fun times, but we were also always there for each other. When my previous husband was killed in an automobile accident, she flew to Atlanta for the funeral, and flew home that night. We were each others ‘cheerleaders.’ With all the chemo and radiation, she always looked at the positive side about everything. Never, ever, complaining. I miss her so.
I think that Johnnie lived her life as though she had written her Eulogy while alive. Wouldn’t all of our lives be better if we sat down, while on earth, and wrote down the things that would be remembered at our death….and live each day reflecting this. At her funeral the minister expressed the view that anyone who could see and paint so much beauty, and paint eyes expressing the persons soul had to believe in God. As I am writing this, barely seeing through the tears, it is comforting to know that Johnnie is painting the beautiful sky and all of Heaven’s wonders. God has led her home.
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By Susan Vaughn
Artist & Editor of Red Easel
An Artist's Tribute to Johnnie Liliedahl
Johnnie has had a tremendous influence on my journey as an artist and she will be dearly missed by all who knew her in life and in the artist community. I wanted to share with my readers some of the videos that are portions of her DVD collection. For any artist who has wisked through the pages of The Artist Magazine or American Artist Magazine, you couldn't help but come across the beautiful ads for Johnnie's DVD Collection. They are wonderful, and she made it all worthwhile and easy to understand. Johnnie was an excellent speaker and a master at her craft. She gave of herself by teaching and by doing what she loved so much. I have often wondered what she loved more - the art or the teaching? I think they were both, equally, fulfilling to her just as art and writing are to me.
Here is a Preview of her DVD for painting "First Dance" :
Johnnie's site is filled with instructional and inspirational video that has taken many an artist to the next level of their craft:
Johnnie even had a Facebook page
Nobody could ever say she wasn't "with it!"
She gave workshops and created a wonderful school for budding artists and professionals alike.
Her Biography shares a lot about who Johnnie was:
An oil painter greatly influenced by the 18th and 19th century Realists, Johnnie Liliedahl brings an old world, multi-layered look to her paintings. Her style is a unique blend of traditional, academic studio techniques with modern plein-air color and paint application. She has published three books on landscape paintings, a 16-part Home Study Art Course, 30+ art instruction videos, 100+ individual Art Lesson painting projects and a conducts a curriculum of workshops in her " School of Classical Oil Painting " every year in her own studio. Her most recent publication is a book entitled “ Photo-Imaging for Painters, An Artist’s Guide to Photoshop”.
Johnnie is a full-time painter and enthusiastic teacher. She conducts an annual schedule of workshops for art groups in the United States , Canada and Europe . She has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Tulsa and did post-graduate work in art history, painting and drawing at Louisiana State University , but she credits much of her knowledge and skills to individual artists with whom she has studied in classes and seminars such as those she now teaches.
She is a member of the Portrait Society of America, and Oil Painters of America. Her paintings have been juried into several recent Oil Painters of America regional and national shows.
You might be wondering what credentials I possess to “certify” someone as a fine art instructor. If you are not aware of my background as a teacher, and you would like to know more, follow this link for a narrative of my teaching biography...
Oh, she shares a lot more, you'll have to read it HERE.
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Johnnie Nell McRae Liliedahl
(October 13, 1945 - October 24, 2009)
Mrs. Liliedahl passed away Saturday, October 24, 2009 at a hospice hospital in Houston, TX, near her home in La Porte, TX after a long struggle with uterine and endometrial cancer.
A resident of La Porte, TX for the past ten years, and Baton Rouge, LA and Tulsa, OK before that, Johnnie was born in Leesville, LA. on Oct. 13, 1945, the daughter of John Wesley and Nellie V. McRae, Kurthwood Rd., Leesville, La.
Johnnie is survived by her husband of 25 years, Ralph A. Liliedahl, Jr., originally from Leesville, LA., but now residing in La Porte, TX.;, one son, Douglas Brandon Mason and his wife Melissa of Denver, CO.; two daughters: Jennifer Jennen and husband Mike of Wichita, KS; and Lynn Moran of La Porte, TX.; one brother, Morris Jean McRae and his wife Jackie of Leesville, LA., and seven grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her father, John Wesley McRae, her mother Nellie V. McRae, both from Leesville, LA., and her brother Duane McRae of Baton Rouge, LA.
After studying at L.S.U. and then obtaining her BA degree in Economics at Tulsa University in Tulsa, OK, Johnnie taught Economics at Tulsa University. While there, she became involved in oil painting and eventually developed her artistic talents to the point of becoming a professional artist, owning and operating a commercial art studio for many years in Sapulpa, OK, near Tulsa, called “The Mason Jar.”
In 1985 she married Ralph Liliedahl and together they opened Liliedahl Fine Art Studio & Liliedahl Video Productions in La Porte, TX. in 1999. Her paintings have been exhibited in national art shows, where she won several awards. In addition, she taught oil painting in her “School of Classical Oil Painting, ” in her commercial studio located in La Porte, TX, which had gained enough national recognition to be featured in an article in “The American Artist” magazine, then reprinted in a recent “Best of” article, published again by a national publication, The American Artist magazine.
She and her husband Ralph also filmed, edited, and marketed art instruction videos that featured not only Johnnie demonstrating her oil painting techniques, but also for some of the best known artists in the United States.
Johnnie was a nationally recognized artist, loved by many, and will be sorely missed not only by her family, but by those in art community, as she has touched many, many lives during her lengthy career of painting and teaching art.
Courtesy of Labby Memorial Funeral Homes
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