RL Johnson — Interview
Q. How long have you been painting?
I have been involved in creating images all my life. I spent 15 years designing autonomous stained glass panels, which now hang in many homes through-out Vancouver. In 1989 I fell in love with painting and I have devoted most of my time to painting since then.
Q. Have you any art school degrees or training?
No, I am self taught. The history of art I learned at the public library. The mastering of technique and the creation of images can only be learned in the studio.
Q. Your original paintings currently sell from $3500 to $8000. Don't you think they are priced out of most peoples range?
Perhaps. But on the other hand, they are very reasonably priced, considering that they are original, have good prospects of increasing in monetary value and will provide a life time of aesthetic value to the owner.
In Canadian society, people spend thousands on stereos and tens of thousands on automobiles and other consumer products, all of which will become obsolete and valueless within a very short period of time.
However, its not necessary to own my original artworks to appreciate them. Everyone is welcome to spend as much time as they like viewing and being with the artworks during my periodic exhibitions and on the Internet site. Also, inexpensive reproductions are available for purchase.
Q. What do you think about the commercial gallery system?
I am somewhat impatient with the curatorial process and entreprenurial creativity of most galleries I have had dealings with. I believe artists must take a more pro-active hand in the exhibition and promotion of their artforms.
Also, I believe that the commercial galleries are not doing enough, in a tangible way, to support and encourage emerging local artists.
A new model for gallery/artist business and creative relations needs to be developed or talented artists in our community will eventually be forced, by financial stress, to abandon their commitment to creating artworks. Our community can only be impoverished as a result.
Q. What do you see as the purpose of your art?
Primarily, to act as a catalyst for aesthetic experience. Secondarily, to honor and reflect the passions, higher emotions and spiritual dimensions of being a human being at this very important time in the evolution of consciousness.
Q. What are your plans for the future?
To continue painting, to be actively involved in supporting and encouraging creative expression in Vancouver and to continue building support for and membership in the Global Animatic Art Movement.