As we head into the 21st century, the hand made relics of the recent past are rapidly disappearing. The carefully crafted homes, barns and boats speak of an unhurried existence where quality and care were more important than mass production. Although some of these objects no longer exist where they once stood, they do continue to live on in the paintings of A. Hale Johnson.
Johnson’s paintings preserve our memories of these things for the future-the endless existence of its contents. While some artists’ paintings capture a moment in time, Johnson’s scenes are timeless-existing day after day as if it were the scene you view every morning outside your kitchen window.
The seeds of Johnson’s art began to germinate during childhood summer trips with his family to the countryside. Even in the early years of his life, he identified with that gentle scenery and the quiet strength of the icons of rural life.
For over 42 years, Johnson has sought out subjects that strike an emotional chord within him. In recent years however, Johnson’s old friends (the hand-hewn boats and rugged buildings of the past) have begun to disappear from our countryside. As he walks the paths of the quiet places he loves, Johnson searches for something that touches his aesthetic and emotional sensibilities. It’s not enough to just paint a pretty scene. Each scene must speak to this artist? especially if he is to communicate his feelings to his viewers in a subsequent painting. A work of art truly succeeds when an undisputed, shared emotional connection exists between the viewer and the artist with the work of art as a conduit.
A painting’s design and mood expressed is important to Johnson and he often spends considerable time in the naming of his artworks in order to create a uniform idea. The curvilinear aspect of wooden boats offers added interest and a beautiful design to Johnson’s paintings. He employs various techniques for these paintings? whatever he feels will set the tone and mood. Recently Johnson has expanded his quest for subjects to the British Isles-England, Scotland, as well as continuing to pursue the places of inner New England.
Having presented more than 50 solo exhibitions in addition to winning his share of awards in group exhibitions, Hale Johnson is most gratified by the continuing warm and receptive appreciation of his work by those who view and collect his paintings.
Tilting at Windmills Gallery has been one of his exclusive galleries for 32 years. He is the most collected artist of the New England school and continues to be in great demand.