As a little boy Bill Johnson always answered the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” with a very quick “an Artist”! As a senior in high school he was presented with the school’s art award. He went on to major in art in college. Two separate advisors told him he was wasting his money on an art degree. The logic was that you are either an artist or not and the only time a degree in art would be needed would be to teach or as a commercial artist. Not having money, he took the advice and dropped out. He did stay in school as a model for figure drawing classes. In this role he became a peer with the instructors and was able to have his work reviewed and get advice while being paid. Bill spent most of his life working with plants. At age 9 his family lived on a farm and he learned about vegetable gardening. At the time he did not know it was organic gardening, but it did shape his thinking about working with nature. Moving to Washington D.C. He spent 7 years working as a cook. He then worked as a staff horticulturist at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens. After retiring from Hillwood in 2016 he finally grew up and is enjoying life as an artist.
I use acrylics, colour pencils polychromos and ink most of the time but throw in other things at times. Each work manifests in its own direction and I enjoy watching the magic happen.
I enjoy nature and the wonders of plants. When we listen to nature we begin to see the world as it really should be and not as others have sold us into believing.
As an artist I consider it my job to examine what has been done before and create something different. I appreciate the influences of Van Gogh, M. C. Escher, Maxfield Parish and Dali in my work. Many label my work abstract, for me it is not abstracting from life but creating a non-objective excursion into a landscape of the mind.
In my experiments with mixed media I discover the interactions of the materials with a shelf-life. The temporality of these mediums fills me with delight in that nature will inevitably reclaim that which we for only a short time lay claim to.
It is fortunate that I was raised in poverty in a rural setting that allowed me to connect with nature. Lack of possessions sparked the desire to create a world devoid of oppressive monetary constructs, allowing for a deeper perception of ‘human nature’.
There is much to see in the painting and that is why I do not mess it up with my name - I am not important. This does bother some people so I do sign the back side with the title and date.
11 x 14 Mixed media on panel
12 x 16 Mixed media on canvas
Mixed media on panel
16 x 20 Mixed media on panel
11 x 14 Mixed media on canvas
Mixed media on canvas