Aaron Johnson

My oil paintings and woodcut prints visually explore the natural world and our human relationships within it.  In my tree series, gestures of California trees draw my eye to their underlying structure and geometry of form.  Some paintings incorporate borders, giving each tree a space of its own, and acknowledging that the tree image is now placed in a human context.  In this ongoing experiment, the tree’s shapes and colors may push outward in transition, or the border may form a boundary, like an edge, frame, or window.  While making art, I am often drawn back to ancient cultures and their interconnectedness with all life.  This interest lead to a separate series, where human figures and fragments of stories appear.  My paintings are made with the traditional materials of oil on linen canvas and the woodcuts are printed from multiple blocks on the hand-cranked 1947 Vandercook press in my studio. The process takes patience, but encourages a slower, more contemplative way of looking.

Painting, Print-Making