George Johanson at Augen Gallery

You have until November 1st to visit the Augen Gallery in the DeSoto Building (716 NW Davis in Portland) to see the pure delight that a painter can take in the act of painting, and powerfully transmit that same delight to the viewer.  George Johanson’s big show includes many new paintings from this year as well as prints from this and past years.  He can REALLY draw..exuberantly.  His compositions are wonderful, his use of pattern and line is tasty.  In the middle of this painting year he had cataracts removed, and the colors blasted him almost out of the studio.  He was talking about his work this morning in the gallery so we got an early start.  The place was packed…


and George was in good form…(Phyllis was there, taking it all in…)

George 2 George 3 george 1 Phyllis

George paints in red quite a bit …

red 3

and his description of this section of one big red painting included the information that red out of the tube wasn’t really red…describing his elation at the moment he began working pink into the red in this painting…

red 1

red 2

He talked about his choice of subject matter, his various frames of reference (the deck, the pool, the river, the parade) and how he crams color and figures into each composition, often setting himself challenges to use—say—black and white AND color


But for me, what really is remarkable and lovely is his DRAWING in both paintings and prints, his use of line and pattern and juxtaposition…

blue 1

blue 2

Happy New Year

this lovely painting is of Johanson’s granddaughter Sonia, making a print in the studio (“I only helped her with the mechanics…the drawing is all hers”…)


so later at home Sonia showed us one of several prints she made…

Sonia's priint

R and George discussed various matters…



we sang Happy Birthday to Irene…


grabbed a coffee…


and we headed south to Summit and dinner at Sara’s with artists/friends…and ALL these photos are lost…alas…home by the light of the moon.

moon 1

moon 2






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