SeaTac painter and photographer, Harry Johnson, has produced hundreds of works of art. Many of these paintings portray Pacific Northwest landscapes and wildlife.
Johnson has displayed his work in art shows throughout the country, allowing him to travel. On average, Johnson attends about 26 shows every year, one every weekend for a half a year. While at shows, Johnson has been able to gain new inspirations for future paintings as well as share some of his ideas with others. “Art is more than just painting. Art gets you out among other people,” Johnson said.
Johnson has been a part of various shows including Arts for the Parks, the National Wilderness Show, the Audubon Alaska Wildlife Art Show and the Pacific Rim Wildlife Art Show Series. Johnson has also been awarded many honors and awards for his work. His favorite award won was through the People’s Choice Awards, for his work entitled Tumwater Canyon.
Johnson’s career turning point occurred in 1987, when he competed with 4,000-5,000 other artists and ended up being named as one of the top 100 national parks artists by the Arts for the Parks Association. Not long after making the top 100 list, the National Parks and Conservation Association (NPCA) sponsored a series and requested that Johnson’s national parks paintings be displayed in various buildings according to their park locations throughout the United States. The NPCA series was produced by W.S. George and the Bradford Exchange.
Johnson has been painting for as long as he can remember. Johnson developed an interest in art when he was only three years of age. By the age of 17, Johnson was actively attending art shows.
A number of years ago while working for an art gallery, Johnson secured a $27,000 commission for painting a progressive scene of the biblical book of Daniel, the third chapter. The painting had a neo-Babylonian style, complete with soldiers, horses and chariots. The painting is now displayed in Israel.
While outdoors, Johnson at times will paint nature and the countryside. “You become so focused and at peace while painting; you get captivated by your surroundings. You don’t just paint an image, you experience the image. You also get to take the scene home with you; the challenge is getting other people to see what you have seen,” Johnson said. Johnson also paints from pictures in his head.
Johnson uses acrylic, gauche (opaque water color), oil, pen and ink, and water color to create his art pieces. The paintings are usually painted on canvas. Johnson also spends a majority of his time working archival reproduction; he uses an archival printing press to generate faithful reproductions of the original paintings, both of his own as well as various other artists.
Archival reproduction allows an artist to maintain a painting’s best possible quality; this technique provides the customer with paintings that hold their texture without fading for up to 200 years, looking like the original.
Johnson grew up in Deer Park, north of Spokane, Washington. As a young boy, he enjoyed going up into the hills with friends to paint the rolling countryside and the farms dispersed on the horizon. Johnson graduated from Trinity Bible College in North Dakota. While in college, Johnson painted signs and paintings of funny cars, to support his education.
If you would like to talk to Harry Johnson or view more of his artwork, he can be reached by phone at (206) 878-2158.