Al B Johnson - Acrylic
"While raising three daughters as a single parent, I taught karate, raced motorcycles, worked as an engineer, and ran a horse farm. All along I made art, but I never dared try to support myself with it. That’s changed in the past few years.
Today I'm an artist and a teacher of abstract expressionism at Cottonwood Center for the Arts. I also identify myself as a student, and always will. I think it’s essential to constantly expand your abilities and master a new technique.
Having spent years studying the abstract expressionists, I am influenced by their styles and approaches. I'm also influenced, of course, by my own experiences. Out of that mashup comes work that I call "techno-tribal expressionism.” You can find examples in my Cottonwood studio and at other galleries and shows around the Colorado Springs area."
It only takes a moment after stepping through the doors of Cottonwood to be greeted by Al B's artwork. It’s pretty easy to point out what’s his, as there is a familiar and unifying tone tying his work together. His large canvasses can easily fill out a wall, some dominating entire rooms and some being the last piece in the puzzle when decorating a new space. His unique approach to incorporating action, energy and abstract thinking into each composition has shaped his signature style without confining him to specific styles or genres. Al B's ability to separate each piece from the last creates a style all his own, allowing his work to cover any of his vibrant fields of interest.
Those same hallways and walls that hang and support his artwork also display a more functional side to Al B's creative process. As a maker, chances are likely you’re already familiar with his work, it is the driving force behind Cottonwood’s beautiful galleries, coveted artist studios, and successful exhibitions. Al B's dedication to Cottonwood is clear from the moment you step inside the doors. His artistic approach to maintenance and design are best described as human-centered, always considering the needs of the guests and artists and incorporating them into whatever project he is working on.
The studio windows, sculpted ceiling tiles and hand crafted displays are all manifestations of Al B's need to constantly create and contribute to the legacy of Cottonwood as a community.