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David Johnson

"Ever striving to depict in my paintings, both accurately and with artistic excellence, the things we love & esteem in life."

It is said in the art world that I have carved myself a niche into the South African market whereby I have evolved my style of art that is both unique and accurate, which I have labeled as “impressionistic realism”. I am regarded by the public and my fellow peers as a master in the pastel medium, and I am classed amongst the top echelon in my area of speciality. It all started in April of 1987, trying to satisfy a deep yearning to do some form of artistic expression. I started my journey as a self-taught artist and by August of 1993 I had progressed to the point where I was able to embark on a career as a professional artist.

Born in 1953, I grew up on a sugar cane farm estate, which my father managed, near Mtubatuba in Zululand. In 1971 I matriculated from Glenwood Boys High in Durban.

A great influence has been my brother-in-law, Brian Jones of Moholoholo fame and well known wildlife expert whose knowledge of the bushveld over a broad spectrum leaves me with few equals. The knowledge he has imparted to myself has equipped me to display in my artwork an authenticity of the bushveld and its wild life. This has been affirmed on many occasions by those who have extensive knowlege in this field. I always strive to perfect my subject speciality because I regard it as a life-time study.

Of late I have been inspired by the Nguni cattle tradition. Success in this field has been such that top members of the Nguni Cattle Breeders Association have commissioned me to portray their cattle. Between 2006 and 2010 I was commissioned to paint the trophy portrait of the champion bull of the prestigious Vliessentraal-ARC Special Performance Test Class Annual Competition.

An annual invitation was extended to me to exhibit for the Wildlands Art for Conservation fund raising event where only the top RSA artists contribute.

SUBJECT PREFERENCE: I am Capable of any subject matter but my love for the Bushveld, Wildlife and Cattle have become my specialty.

ART MEDIUM: Soft Pastels and Oils.

EXHIBITIONS: Numerous throughout RSA, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Germany.

SPECIAL COMMISSIONS:
  • Gaborone Sun Hotel: Engen Oil Co.
  • London: Premier Diamond Mine
  • Cullinan: Auto & General Insurance Co.

Since 2007, I've been commissioned to paint the trophy portrait of the winning bull of the annual Performance Test Class Competition.