Anthony Johnson
 
Art Portfolio

About ... 

Painting makes me feel alive and I’m passionate about experimenting with materials for everything from painting to sculpture. Inspired by life, nature and landscape in particular, I’m constantly exploring new ways to express my interpretation of the unknowable mystery and emotive beauty around us. I was drawn to encaustic for it’s natural ingredients, it’s history and it’s ability to be manipulated, transformed, layered and fused and combined with other mediums in so may ways. My formulae are based on research into the original 2000 year old Egyptian recipe using beeswax, a centuries old recipe from Greece where they first used beeswax and pitch to weatherproof their sailing ships, the wax from plants in South America, Birchwood from Finland, 30 years of research into encaustic paint by an American Professor, a two centuries old recipe for milk paint, resin from trees in Indonesia and other sources. 

I’m indebted to local paint chemists for their assistance in helping me create personal recipes…an ongoing and evolving project to produce as yet unexplored and new possibilities. I love the challenge of using hot encaustic on a relatively large scale. It’s labour intensive and exciting to work with dozens of pots of colour cooking at the same time and fusing the layers of wax with tar melting torches that throw out four foot flames down to delicate work with small scale electric heaters , butane and propane torches, and everything in between. The pleasure is having developed an individual technique using all of 2,000 years of history coupled with modern technology to best be able to express myself.

I was fortunate to have been personally mentored over many years by a good friend and exceptional teacher, the late Prof. Kevin Atkinson, Professor of Fine Art at Michaelis Art School, University of Cape Town. I owe him an enormous debt of gratitude for virtually my entire education in Art. I also studied under the late Eric Laubscher, one of South Africa’s top artists who headed the Ruth Prowse School of Art in Cape Town, where I lectured in Photography for a number of years.

Born in Cape Town, I launched my career at 19 years old with the publication of a book of black and white landscape photographs of the Karoo, a barren area of haunting beauty in South Africa. I spent the next thirty years as a professional photographer developing an understanding of light, colour and design while painting and sculpting for my own pleasure. I've worked on diverse projects around the globe for advertising and editorial clients in every conceivable form from books to billboards. My initial photographic training was with Brian Astbury, photographer, theatre director and founder of the first multi-racial theatre in South Africa, who’s creativity is both boundless and globally recognized. After  working in New York as a photographer for several years I returned to Cape Town to pursue my passion for painting and creativity full time.

The work has been purchased by collectors around the globe and a partial list of South African Corporate Clients include :

Nedbank – Investment Banking
Barrick Africa – Mining
Eschelon – Insurance
P-Bel – Communications
Neotel – Communications
Motor Finance Corporation
Unilever – Household Products
Micro Mega – Investment
Clover – Foods and Beverages
Bentel and Associates – Property
Atos Origin – Information Technology