Aaron Johnson was born and raised in the suburbs of Sacramento, California. He currently resides and works from his well-lit studio alongside a former almond orchard in the quiet town of Orangevale, California.
Growing up in a large family, surrounded by older cousins and the influence they provide, an importance was placed on music, both as life’s backdrop and a constant ritual. The crew was voracious in collecting and trading records, cassettes, and posters. Aaron’s childhood walls were carefully curated end to end with iconic rock gods, of and before his time. Rolling Stone, Circus, and Hit Parader served as a rock and roll news-link, a grapevine from Sunset Blvd or The Filmore. The honor of tagging along to concerts like Tom Petty and Iron Maiden were eye and ear-opening experiences and a privilege not held by many of his classmates.
However, becoming an honor student of rock and roll was not an option. Fortunately, Aaron was blessed to have a father, grandmother and aunt that were always crafting, building and creating, engaging the kids to be involved. Art was second nature for Aaron and by the fifth grade he was drawing logos and designing plywood guitars, using latex house paint to envision his own Les Paul or Destroyer. Grandpa’s backyard patio was his own Madison Square Garden.
Headphones on, Aaron would stare for hours at magazines and album covers, studying every inch of Led Zeppelin III, Tattoo You and Cheap Trick Live at Budokan, to name a few. The work of artists, like Derek Riggs, Stanley Mouse, Alton Kelley, Brian Schroeder and Winston Smith drew long looks. Photography, from artist such as, Neil Zlozower, Glen E. Friedman, Baron Wolman were just as captivating. This combination of art and music continues with Aaron’s work today.
Aaron Johnson studied art at Sacramento City College and California College of The Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and Oakland. Under instructors, Frank Zamora, Fred Dalkey, Barron Storey and Randy Chavez, Aaron explored numerous mediums and subject matter. The art of the automobile you find in his repertory was initiated with a class illustration project while at CCA. Classic cars, as well as landscape and still life, serve as a balance to his predominately figurative work. The clear evolution in his use of medium has yielded tight controlled detail and adept use of color and gradient. The careful rendering of his subject is time consuming, some larger detailed pieces taking as long as three months to resolve.
Aaron Johnson has been featured in Sacramento Magazine, his work showcased at the distinguished Pebble Beach Concours d ‘Elegance, had his art accepted into many juried events and has won awards locally and nationally. Most recently, Aaron had the honor of having his pastel on paper piece, “Sterling ‘Pete’ Peterson” placed into Sacramento City College’s permanent collection. Aaron is represented by California galleries In Hollywood, Napa Valley, Carmel, Roseville and Folsom, as well as in Colorado and more states and cities to come.