Art Under Construction:
The Artists
Charles Johnson

Charles Johnson was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and has lived there ever since.  At the age of seven as a young student in school the teacher asked the students to draw.  He was the only one in the class that didn’t know how; he was only able to make stick figures.  Because the other kids made fun of him, he went home determined to learn this skill and he came back a few days later with drawings and was soon the best in the class.  He went on to focus the rest of his life creating art. When he was a little older Johnson taught himself to paint. An indefatigable artist, he has continued to paint prolifically, working almost exclusively with oil paint, although the finished pictures in their framing incorporate other textures and media, linoleum e.g.

What do you like to paint? “I see something that interests me, I take a picture of it and I go home and paint it.  I like to paint from pictures although sometimes my subjects come out of my memory. I like to paint portraits of women, and animals, and children. Men, not so much.”

Born January 23, 1939, Charles Johnson has had a hand in multiple activities over his lifetime.  In the 1960’s he had a singing group that performed in clubs around New York City.  Marriage and family brought him back to Baltimore, where in addition to painting and breadwinning occupations, he worked in the community, coaching an after school basketball team to the All City Championship.  Currently, when he is not painting, he is bowling, and working on children’s books, movie stories, R& B songs, gospel songs and singing, among other things.

 His works have recently been seen in Baltimore at Coppin State College, at the Arena Theater, at Lutheran Hospital and the exhibition space at Coffee and Books.

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