Notes  acrylic paint & medium on panels, 28.5" x 26" 2013

I’m fascinated with the boundaries between photograph and painting; the kinds of stories that are dimily recalled in photographs. I render these on panels in many layers of paint and between thin layers of clear acrylic medium.

I paint as a way to find my bearings and get a bead on the present moment.  I navigate with these forgotten stories - like a doomed evangelical mission to the Amazon in 1957, an Arctic balloon expedition in 1897 or a tabloid journalist on the shores of Loch Ness in 1934. Painting images of such individuals and the popular visual stuff of their time illuminates my here and now. 

It’s not nostalgia that animates my efforts—but casting shadows of a distant event onto this present moment.




The Year of the Monster. A short vid of recent paintings from images from 1933 - the year that the Loch Ness Monster caught fire in the press with Europe on the brink. The work embraces flimflam, tabloid sensationalism and something of the substance of a legend lurking just under the surface. (Somerville, 2016)




Process And What I Paint (1:08 sec) (Somerville, MA  2015)





Bodies in a River (6:16 sec.) (Somerville, MA2014)





James M. Young Mural Comission Arena Theater, Wheaton College, IL. (3:30 sec.) A work made in memory of a dear teacher, guide and friend. (Wheaton, IL 2015)

Jimma from Bradford Johnson on Vimeo.