Portrait Gallery: Fruita artist Stan Johnson
A lifelong love of fish and art gave Fruita’s Stan Johnson an obvious direction when he decided to dedicate more time to art post-retirement.
Johnson, 62, sells wood carvings and watercolor paintings of fish and even teaches classes about carving and painting fish.
His next watercolor class, titled “Brook Trout In Water,” will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 14, at Watercolor Dogs Art Studio, 145 N. Mesa, in Fruita. Cost is $75 and supplies are included.
Johnson, who has lived in Fruita for the past 15 years, is retired, having worked as a principal at Glenwood Springs Middle School, so he enjoys teaching.
The love of fishing and art, however, is something that dates back to his childhood.
He remembers throwing a rod over his shoulder and riding his bike to a rural Thornton pond to fish for bluegill.
“Art has always been a part of my nature since I was a little kid,” he said.
Johnson’s carvings take upward of six months to finish, including the acrylic painting he applies after the wood is carved.
“Wood carving has helped my watercolor because of the detail you have to put in wood carving,” he said, adding fish are deceptively intricate.
Although not every carving and painting Johnson finishes uses fish as the subject, his artwork nearly always features something from nature.
Examples of all of Johnson’s work, including his Christmas cards, are at stanswatercolorfish.com.
“It’s a specific market,” he said. “But everyone loves fish, even if they don’t like to touch them, they like to look at them.”