Artist Brett Allen Johnson captures the tranquil beauty of the American Southwest in compelling oil paintings. He carefully portrays his memories of pristine desert sites dominated by vermilion rock formations and capped by a clear blue sky. Together they create enchanting snapshots of the iconic terrain.
Johnson’s love of the West began in childhood, with his frequent trips through his home state of Utah and to Sedona, Arizona, where his grandparents lived. Through his training in drawing, design and painting, he began to cultivate a unique style that emphasizes the light and the shapes of landscapes. “These badlands and deserts, the arid canyons, the playas and big basins — this is where my work began, where it begins,” Johnson says. In his rendered vistas, the environment is the main subject, and the people, animals and even plants living together are decorative by comparison.
While these images look like real images of the desert, they are mostly created from Johnson’s imagination. “I’m not often a painter of literal places,” he explains. “I regularly invent whole works or paint them from memory. I like to invite observers into a world that is only like the one they know, an adjacent world. Perhaps the adjacent West.” The towering red mountains, sweeping sky-blue skies, and cacti-strewn ground so common in Johnson’s paintings are some of the most common iconographies we associate with the Southwestern landscape. Likewise, the occasional horse and cowboy imbue these open spaces with an escapist romance.
You can purchase available paintings through Maxwell Alexander Gallery in Los Angeles and keep up to date with Johnson’s latest work by following him on Instagram.
Utah-based artist Brett Allen Johnson creates beautiful images of the desert.
He is inspired by the tranquil beauty of the American Southwest.
Johnson paints places from his memories of the desert, creating a romanticized image.
Brett Allen Johnson: Website | Instagram
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