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Artist of the Month - May 2014
Robert A. Johnson

Robert A. Johnson

Robert A. Johnson

Robert Johnson was born in Hopewell, VA, into a family that included a mother who loved to paint and and a brother who devoted his life to art. His older brother, Ben, became a worldwide respected art conservator, connoisseur, and an accomplished painter. He also became Director of Conservation at the Los Angeles County Museum and advised many major collectors in assembling their private collections.

As a young boy, Robert remembers watching for hours as Ben painted. "Seeing the magic of three-dimensional form, recognizable objects, and the illusion of space emerging from a flat canvas fascinated me then and has never ceased to excite and amaze me," Johnson says.


Robert Johnson

30 " x 24" - Oil on Canvas

A love of athletics took Johnson to Duke University on a football scholarship, and later an interest in law led him to Duke Law School. After graduation his life took an unusual turn when he went to live in Europe. He spent two years in a small German village traveling extensively, learning the language, seeing and appreciating the best art in Europe, and at the same time drawing and painting on his own.

Upon his return to the United States, Robert began studying at the Art Students League of New York. His studies included painting with David Leffel; drawing with Robert Beverly Hale and Michael Burban; and learning sculpture with Barney Hodes. He later had the privilege of painting and studying in the studio of Hungarian-American master Lajos Markos.

Robert's brother was a knowledgable and caring mentor. Ben advised him to learn to draw and compare his work only to that of the masters. "Drawing is the foundation of all we are trying to accomplish as artists. When our drawing skills improve, the quality of our paintings mysteriously take big jumps forward."

Robert Johnson

Roses with Spice Box
8 " x 16" - Oil on Canvas

Since becoming a full time painter in 1987, Robert has won first place national juried awards from The Artist's Magazine and Salmagundi Club in New York City. He won five awards from the Oil Painters of America, and received the American Art Collector magazine Award of Excellence. Johnson has had twenty one-man shows in private galleries throughout the United States. He teaches painting workshops throughout the United States and Canada, and has produced seven instructional videos.

Robert A. Johnson

Dolls with Geisha Print
10" x 12" - Oil on Canvas

Robert is the author of On Becoming a Painter (Sunflower Press, 2001) in which he explores his experiences in becoming an artist and his thoughts on the fundamentals of the painting process. His work has also been featured in the Best of Flower Painting 2 (North Light Books, 1999) and The Simple Secret to Better Painting (North Light Books, 2003).

His work has been featured in numerous magazines including American Art Collector, The Artist's Magazine, Southwest Art, American Artist, and Art of the West. He is represented by Trailside Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona and Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Sage Creek Gallery in Santa Fe, New Mexico; Whistle Pik Gallery in Fredericksburg, Texas; Brazier Gallery in Richmond, Virginia; and Anderson Gallery, Saint Simons Islands, Georgia.

Johnson will be featured in the book Oil Painting with the Masters: Essential Techniques by Today's Top Artists by Cindy Salaski. The book is scheduled to be released on August 21, 2014, and can be pre-ordered now on Amazon.com by clicking here.


Robert Johnson

Robert A. Johnson painting en plein air.

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