Patrick Randal Johnson is an amazing artist. I came upon his art by chance and I promptly asked him if he would consider an interview so that I could introduce him to my examiner.com readers. I was thrilled when Mr. Johnson agreed. As a mostly self-taught artist I feel he is an inspiration to any aspiring artist and one of Detroit's hidden treasures.
To view the slideshow and featured video click on the links on the top-left side of the article To learn more about the artist please click on the hyperlinks/highlighted words to see more of his work. His portraits are breathtaking.
Where do you call home in the Detroit area?
I was born and raised on the cities North-end but I call home on the city's Eastside for the past 31 years.
Your educational and art background?
I am a graduate of the Detroit Public School system. Just your average student and class clown. I had a serious aptitude for art and science.
When did you become interested in art?
Although I was always drawing and fascinated with art since I was able to walk, I was discovered by my 5th grade art teacher. She would always encourage me and cheer me on; it was during a parent and teacher conference (that I dreaded) she told my mom that I was "gifted & talented".
Boy did that set me off into the world of art. I wasn't really sure what those words truly meant but I felt very special. I did excel in art during Middle School and High School convinced of my calling. I wanted to go to a formal university to train but due to financial difficulties (poor and had to work) I continued my training by myself.
I eventually studied from a correspondence course from the Minnesota school of ruts for a very short period of time. But I persevered in training myself which is basically learning patients. This is the number one lesson I have told all of my talented students over the years.
In 1989 I met the brilliant Detroit artist Carl Owens in his Midtown studio. Although I was never a formal student of his, I considered him to be one of my best mentors in the arts. He told me that every artist must have his or her own style, so stylize. As a self- taught artist that was key in my development.
What inspires you?
What inspires me today is the amazing dynamics of life itself. Rather a simple arrangement of a fruit bowl or how the waves swell and crash on a beach or the mountains.
Every aspect of life inspires me.
What do you feel your art says about the person you are?
What art says about the person I am? That is an interesting question. Without being to boring and philosophical I will simply say that I am a colorful happy person with as many viewpoints and perspectives as the many subjects I have captured on paper and canvas. Lol.
Contact info, and anything else you would like to share?
Art to me is the pillar of all cultures. It is the first form of communication and the power inside of us that gives a living testimony to the wonders of God. You can see a starry night's sky and bask in the glory of the cosmos, but to see the cosmos through the eyes and skill of an artist is a glance into the vast soul of man.