BORN in 1956 in rural Dillon, South Carolina, a town more noted for the glitzy South of the Border tourist attraction than fine art, Monnie Johnson started life with an innate talent so good that his fourth-grade teacher accused him of tracing a portrait of George Washington rather than applauding the freehand copy he’d actually made.

Johnson has a voracious appetite for learning and growing and has taken many courses, participated in workshops, and studied the work of hundreds of artists in galleries and museums. Among others, he credits Charleston art-ists Laurie Meyer and Rick Rein-ert and his gallery colleagues in Charleston and Summerville as influences in his signature style.

The essence of that style is Johnson’s focus on light and the use of broad brushstrokes and color. He relishes seeing and painting scenes of the rainy season in Charleston, with its reflections of architecture, lampposts and other objects, and people on or near glistening sidewalks. It’s the mood of the moment that Johnson captures in these rainy-day pieces of art.

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