THE BRONX - Heidi Johnson, a Bronx artist and art teacher, has been painting large-scale oil paintings that reflect her experience of life in the big city. 

Every painting isn't just some piece of art that hangs on the wall, she says.

"I make large-scale oil paintings that probably reflect my anxiety of living in New York for 20 years."

Her paintings line her apartment that she shares with a few of her pets. Each painting represents different aspects of life and the world.

"All these species in the still life are taken from different parts of the globe and some of them will never meet so that is a way to compress time."

The art teacher says more, now than ever, there needs to be an emphasis on art education.

"Creativity is so important in problem-solving and i see that many people are teaching just by not really engaging kids in actual problem-solving, and painting and drawing – sculpting – music – is all about problem-solving and making things."

She says art is a way to tell stories, not just a way for kids to express themselves. 

Johnson's paintings have what she says is a similar theme.

"I think the jam-packedeness and the phonetic energy is probably the most unique right now in the contemporary scene and also the attention to detail."

Johnson’s art has been featured at Hostos Community College and other galleries across the country.