Born in Ojai, California, Wesley Johnson is an Abstract Expressionist with strong influences from Cubism and Impressionism. His work has run the gamut from figurative murals painted on the commissary walls at Fort Ord, to large, colorful abstract oils and acrylics on canvas. Some Johnson murals are painted on the walls and ceilings of centuries-old building in Milan and Paris. Other works are in an ultramodern “grave de egglomises” process that involves removing the silver backing from mirrors and painting into the etched surface, giving a multidimensional effect that seems to surround the viewer.
He became involved with art while a student at Ventura College, where he had originally planned to study engineering. He continued his art education at the University of California at Santa Barbara, working under influential painter and theoretician Howard Warshaw.
Johnson’s long and varied career has included a stint in the U.S. Army, restoring the etching plates of noted American Western artist John Edward Borein, and many years of teaching at Ventura College. He has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the prestigious James D. Phelan Award for Literature and Art.
Wesley Johnson’s works have been widely exhibited throughout the Western States. From 1955 to 1957, Johnson attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, where the painter and theoretician Howard Warshaw mentored him. The cubist style of Warshaw, combined with the airy and light feeling of impressionism and the abstraction of expression, influenced Johnson’s style of painting. Johnson’s paintings often contain large, sweeping strokes, but a subtle use of color that is evocative of his spontaneous, non-objective style. He has been featured at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and Gallery de Seine among others.