Johnson had wanted to go to India to take meditation and yoga workshops, and eventually applied for and received a full ride grant to teach at an art university in India.
Johnson’s experiences in India brought color to his life and his art. Previously, he had not worked with color in his art for six to seven years.
“[Somehow] in India, the color came out of me,” Johnson said.
This will be his first show in 10 years featuring color, and he is excited to display his work. A few of Johnson’s favorite pieces are of ice cream trucks.
“While I was visiting New Delhi, I saw some ice cream salesmen in converted rickshas, and I asked if I could take some pictures,” Johnson said. He remembers his day of visiting art museums and eating ice cream through these pieces.
Johnson’s show will consist of approximately 27 small (4x6’’) to medium (11x14’’) sized watercolor paintings and 90 photographs on wooden panels to accompany the working show the natural inspiration for the paintings.
While most of Johnson’s time in India was spent teaching, he started many sketches and took about 10,000 photographs. Since he did not have a studio to work on art while in India, his time was spent experiencing the beautiful country. This lead to most of his artwork in the show being started in India and completed upon his arrival home.
Johnson had not always planned to become an artist. While he always loved art as a hobby, he figured he would follow in his father’s footsteps to work in construction. However, his side hobby of creating art was always constant, and eventually he declared that he would study art. Art, for him, was what made his world light up.
Like many artists, Johnson excels at some forms of art and struggles with others. Johnson confesses that while figure drawing and watercolor comes naturally to him, he struggles with oil paints. He attributes this mostly to his own impatience.
“Watercolor dries quickly, so you get immediate gratification!” Johnson said.
This fast process has helped him enjoy this medium.
The display and on-sight editing are the final touch to galleries long in the making.
The show’s opening night will have a reception at 7 p.m. on Monday and all are welcome to visit the gallery until its final day on Dec. 9.