Local Artist Finds Charm in 'Old World'

By Eric Olson

November 5, 2011 Updated Nov 5, 2011 at 4:11 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Indiana (Indiana's NewsCenter)--Artist Tim Johnson was born in Fort Wayne but he’s not chained to the place, probably because his family moved so much when he was a kid. But wanderlust has served him well. He travels regularly to Europe, lived there 20 years, and finds infinite inspiration in its ancient buildings and hills and seaports.

“It’s a beautiful place and it’s steeped in history,” he says. Where I am you’ll find Roman ruins all around, old cathedrals. There’s just something about it it’s very different.”

Tim Johnson grew up surrounded by art, his dad’s a painter. And the variety of places he lived as a kid shows up in his work.

“My parents had a small hotel on the beach in Indian Rock Florida when I was an adolescent. I have an attraction to water, just the reflecting. And to look at it and capture it in your mind’s eye and then put that down in paint, you know, when it’s moving. It does not sit still for you.”

Johnson’s paintings are as varied as the places he’s called home but they all share beautiful colors and composition, and a sort of old world feel, like they were painted by one of the old masters. And the attention to detail isn’t limited to the canvas.

“I love these antique frames,” he says as he shows off a beautiful example. “They’re all antique French Italian Spanish frames, hand-carved wood. This one there is Renaissance it’s a sculpture in and of itself it’s a 300 year old frame.”

Johnson says often he’ll choose a frame and then create a painting for it. It’s an attention to his art the he hopes will continue to be appreciated in years to come.

“That I took time and craftsmanship, I loved my craft and that they’re well put together. It’s a tradition that’s been handed down for thirty thousand years. And I’m just, you know, a cog in there somewhere.”

Eric Olson reporting, out in Your Country.

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