Short Biography for Johnnie (McRae) Liliedahl
Born: 1945, Died: 2009
An oil painter greatly influenced by the 18th and 19th century Realists, Liliedahl brings an old world, multilayered look to her paintings. She was a full-time painter and enthusiastic teacher, who conducted an annual schedule of workshops for art groups in the United States, Canada, and Europe prior to her death from cancer in 2009.
She had a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Tulsa and did post-graduate work in painting and drawing at Louisiana State University, but she credited much of her knowledge and skills to working artists with whom she studied in workshops such as those she taught in her own studio.
In 1980, Liliedahl opened her first atelier and devoted most of her non-creative time to teaching others how to paint. She closed the studio when she moved to the Middle East in 1985, where she painted and taught in the ex-patriot community. She participated in art shows sponsored by the Saudi Royal Family, who are among her collectors. This was also a time of intense self-study, where Liliedahl visited many of the museums in Europe and concentrated on learning the painting techniques of 19th century French and British master painters.
In 1999, her husband formally joined her as a full-time business partner and they opened the Liliedahl Fine Art Studio and Gallery in La Porte, TX, where Johnnie conducted an annual School of Classical Oil Painting, a series of six 5-day to 10-day workshops that included Color Theory, Landscape, Still Life, Portrait, and Old Master Venetian and Flemish technique workshops, among others.
She and her husband Ralph also owned Liliedahl Video Productions, which not only filmed and marketed Liliedahl’s videos, but also those of many of the most famous of today’s contemporary realist oil painters. The atelier and video business consumed much of Liliedahl’s time during the 1980’s and 1990’s, and she began to enter art competitions in 2003 to further her own career as a painter, aside from her other careers as art teacher and video producer.
She was a member of the Portrait Society of America, and Oil Painters of America. Her paintings were juried into Oil Painters of America shows, both regional and national competitions.