James Johnson - May 2015

Posted on May 1st, 2015

​James Johnson 
Main Street Artists Gallery opens the month of May with the works of watercolorist, James 
Johnson, a new member with an exceptional eye for detail in depicting the landscapes around him. His work combines the technique of watercolor painting often with an overlay of pen & ink which defines and accentuates the detail of a scene, giving it a special vibrancy.  His landscapes, both large and small, draw the viewer's attention by conveying a mood of peaceful solitude amid breathtaking beauty.
Born in Kansas after World War II, James spent his first five years on a farm then moved to Maryland when his father, an electrical engineer, took a position with Westinghouse Defense.  Later, the family moved to idyllic Whidbey Island on Puget Sound in Washington State where James spent  his adolescence developing his passion for nature.  A final move to California allowed him to finish high school and begin training for his life's work.
James came to his vocation as landcape artist through extensive travel and a fascination with
the dynamics of nature's ever-changing movement through wind, water, cloud formations and
light.  Studying art at San Jose State in the 70's, he learned the techniques for producing 
lithographs, etchings, silk screening, airbrush & intaglio,  He studied alongside  Roy DeForest,
learned watercolor painting from Eric Obach and attributes particular influence to mentor Goeff Bowman..  After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree, James traveled to New Mexico, tried his hand at video game art, then bought a printing press and switched to lithography and etchings,  some of which will be included in the current show.  
Today, James resides at Tobin in the Feather River Canyon where he is surrounded by the
gorgeous scenery that appears in his art.  Each of his pieces is meticulously executed, evoking 
a mood of idyllic serenity in some, and a sense of turbulence from the forces of nature in others.   He says his goal  is to connect the medium with the painter and the observer to convey the feeling he originally saw in the design. The plein aire watercolor method he prefers allows him to capture the dynamics of nature's forces in real time and in a variety of places throughout the state, including Big Sur, Santa Cruz, the Central Valley as well as Plumas County.  The result is a large variety of soul-stirring scenes celebrating the beauty of our natural world.

Also featured as guest artists during May will be Quincy High School students Sylvia Wood and
Rachel Hana representing the next generation of Quincy artists
The opening will take place Friday, May 1  from 5-7 PM.  Complimentary wine and appetizers
will be served.

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