Van Johnson Works

Van Johnson


Van Johnson is a retired Junior High School Choir Director. He grew up on a farm in north Texas and hunted quail with bird dogs for many years.  After having someone paint his bird dog Luke, and he wasn't pleased with it, Van decided to become an artist. Taking art lessons from Doug Prine, a western art specialist, opened a whole new world in oil painting and gave him a new passion in life. 



Van Johnson’s oil paintings, often commissions of pets and working animals, along with wildlife and western art, depict the beauty of nature and immortalize the personalities of our animals. The heart put into each painting renders the spirit of its subject the way a photograph never could.



“Growing up in Elbert, Texas, I developed a love for hunting and fishing.  Now when I go in the country, I see it in a whole new light. Now I see colors, light, composition, shadows, and the possibility of an oil painting. I have quail hunted with bird dogs all my life and now it is my passion bring them to life on canvas…When you do a painting for someone, it is a big responsibility because, they are putting their trust in you to bring that photo to life for them.  There is no greater reward than to see the look of joy on someone's face when you give them their painting and know they will have it for the rest of their life.”



Van has won Best of Show and People’s Choice Awards at shows by Wise County Art Association, Stars of Texas Art Competition, Lake Granbury Art Association, Mineral Wells Art Association, Trinity Arts Guild, and Pecan Plantation Art Guild. He has also won awards including three "Artist of the Month" Awards, Juror's Merit Award from Rio Brazos Juried Art Exibition, "Award of Excellence" from Lake Granbury Art Association, 1st Place award in Professional Division at Mineral Wells Art Show, the Lester and Virginia Clark Memorial Award, and the Charles and Dominique Inge Award. His art has also appeared in the Breckenridge Annual Juried Art Competition and the Annual Bosque Art Classic. Van was the 2014-15 Texas Ducks Unlimited sponsor artist of the year.