Robert A. Johnson

Robert A. Johnson: Pears on Oriental Rug

Video Length: 3 Hours
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Robert Johnson conducted a still-life workshop at the Liliedahl Fine Art Studio for a full complement of students.

Mr. Johnson is a highly respected and sought after instructor, and is in great demand across the country. Filmed using 3 digital cameras, you can participate as an observer by watching this painting unfold stroke-by-stroke just as it was performed for the workshop participants.

Artists frequently paint objects close to their hearts that ultimately become uniquely linked to that painter. Robert Johnson has embraced the textures symmetry and colorful patterns of the Oriental rug by including them in many of his floral and still life compositions. He captures their textural roughness as well as their muted, well-worn harmonies in an almost effortless style. Asked by many students how he does this, he answers that question most eloquently in this demonstration painting which includes a lovely, discarded, Oriental rug.


Beautiful, patterned, oriental rugs have become one of the hallmarks of Mr. Johnson’s still life compositions, and he is frequently asked how to paint such fabrics and designs. His use of underpainting colors in thin applications, crowned with delicate strokes of the brush and palette knife make the process seem effortless. He fields questions from the workshop audience about subjects students most want to know. If you have never studied with this prolific artist, this is the video to own as an alternative. And if you have, then this program will reinforce all that you have learned from previous study with Mr. Johnson.

His direct, yet gentle, approach to applying the paint is poetry in motion. He proves that even the most commonly available objects can be arranged and painted as a composition of entrancing beauty. The oleander flowers were taken from a scrubby bush behind the studio, the pears from the grocery, the pitcher from a find in an antique shop, and the rug from a flea market.