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Art & Life with Erick Johnson

Today we’d like to introduce you to Erick Johnson.

Erick, , please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I’ve been making art as long as I can remember. I was fortunate to have a mother who was a potter and a sibling who is also an artist, so I grew up in a creative, encouraging environment.

I was born in San Francisco and soon after my family moved to Los Angeles. I remember the light in LA and the saturated color especially.

I went to art school in New York and was exposed to some great artists and their ideas. It was a wonderful experience to be a young artist learning from older generations.

My development was deliberate since I felt I had to paint my way through problems. It was necessary to paint or draw it and see it in the world before I could move on. I’m glad that was the case although it took years.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I was always drawing and that became my way of “thinking” early on. As my work has evolved over the years drawing has been the way to generate ideas and work out problems.

Currently I make paintings in oil, gouache and watercolor on paper, and of course, drawings in graphite and charcoal. I’ve also gotten into photography which in turn informs and influences my studio practice.

For the last few years I’ve been absorbed by the interaction of painterly color as it relates to form: various stacked or arranged polygons. How these colored polygons relate is a deep meditation for me.

I work on drawings & studies which then become paintings. The drawing process and the composition come first and then the painting process follows. I apply the paint in thin layers and use various devices to create my surfaces. It always comes back to reconciling opposites: in this case, painterly color with geometry.

The message? I think everyone takes what they want/need from Art. With pictorial art, you don’t need to know the artist’s intention to experience the work. I think art making is a human activity like breathing and just as essential. It can do a lot of things, but I always come back to a sense of possibility, which is akin, in my mind, to optimism.

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
Having the time and commitment to develop your ideas and your peer relationships cannot be overestimated.

Everything else flows organically from those things.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
My work can be seen at:


Instagram: erickjohnson9 & erickjohnson14

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
(c) Erick Johnson

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