Artist George Ann Johnson
George Ann Johnson is becoming highly recognized for her unique and detailed wildlife portraitures in scratchboard. In particular, George Anns work is blessed with the ability to view beauty, not so much from an external perspective, but from an internal perspective. The eyes of her subjects speak, there is an internal voice that arises from her artwork. It is unique. It is only through her exceptional drawing skills arising from natural talent and years of training that her work is communicated. The subjects come to life and then speak. A great satisfaction is gained in viewing her art, not once, but through time. George Ann has always been involved in artistic adventures. Professionally, George Ann has been an active artist for over 30 years. Having a strong natural talent, she initially began her career painting professional race horses to help support her own horse business. This eventually led her into starting her own commercial art company. Her Kansas City based company was utilized by businesses throughout the country. After several years of commercial art, she began to focus on fine art, attending the Danforth Museum of Fine Art near Boston, Massachusetts. She has been influenced by many artists, including John Seerey Lester, Cynthia Carson, Randy LeSage, and Sally Maxwell. George Ann has presented several workshops and was an instructor at East Central University. What is Scratchboard? Scratchboard Art is a medium where tools are used by the artist to cut and or remove an upper dark ,often black, layer of ink or paint. Beneath the black layer of ink is a white clay layer. Images are then developed from the exposed white clay board. Hence, the art requires a high level of skill since the artist is utilizing the volume and pattern from the ink removal to produce values within the image. Given the desired pattern extends over an area, the artist must have the required skill to replicate the same hand motion hundreds to thousands of times to produce consistency. After removal, the scratchboard artist then returns to enhance the current black and white image with color. The color may be added via colored pencil, watercolor, and a variety of other paints. Works may be on paper or board. Scratchboard was developed in the 19th century in Britain and France. The tools and methods were developed for printing as it produced a fine line that could be photographically reduced for reproduction without losing quality. Because of its commercial roots, scratchboard was not only an artistic style but was the preferred printing technique for medical, scientific and product illustration during the 1930s to the 1950s.