Judy Johnson-Williams is a self-taught artist, who took a detour through chemistry before discovering the true meaning of life. She has gleefully toured drawing, watercolor, pastels and printmaking before hitting her true media of drawing with a knife on cardboard. Using large sheet of scavenged cardboard from boxes, she turns the rejected into the much sought after, while still respecting it’s previous life, by using the staple holes etc. as a part of the composition. The entire cardboard is first painted a single color and then then layers are carved away to reveal the original colors and texture. this is a unique media that uses pattern and perspective to create depth while emphasizing the dance of light and shadow.
In addition to her art practice, she created a successful after school art program at the local migrant housing site. Serving 30 kids a day by offering drawing, painting and sculpture in an open studio atmosphere, she finds that the kids’ enthusiasm and novel approaches inspires her own art. This has been a successful collaboration for 6 years. Currently, she is developing a school based art program for Prescott Elementary School in West Oakland.
Judy Johnson-Williams is an artist exploring line, mostly figurative and usually narrative. It is the expressiveness and adaptability of line to many forms that is interesting. The media is cardboard, painted black with the shapes cut out with a sharp knife and peeled away, revealing the original color of cardboard. The effect is something like a woodblock print, but there is no print, and it is the block that is the art.