Home Page Tree Paintings Story Paintings Woodcut Prints Artist Bio and Résumé Contact and purchase information

Anne and Aaron - Árbol de Piedra, Bolivia

The first five years of my life were spent within national parks in Washington, Oregon, and California, and since then nature has been my starting point. Nature's role in human life and our attitudes toward it form central concerns in my work.

Art began early. I was given my first set of oil paints at age five while living at Sequoia National Park. Formal education in art came much later, primarily at the University of California at Santa Cruz where I studied painting, printmaking, and drawing.

My education in printing continued in Covelo, California, where I learned the fundamentals of graphic design and the craft of letterpress printing while printing limited-edition books for The Yolla Bolly Press. Living in remote Round Valley also gave me time to observe nature and to begin my Tree series.

In recent years I have been fortunate to travel with my wife Anne Cappiello in Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico. How people have adapted to dramatically different environments is and ongoing fascination. When looking at art, it often seems that ancient cultures formed the most intimate relationships with the places they called home, and they created the most resonant forms of visual communication.

From 2002 through 2010 my studio was located in the countryside north of Watsonville. In 2011 Anne and I moved to the Live Oak neighborhood of Santa Cruz and in 2013 I finished an expansion of the garage into a new studio space.

Please scroll down to view my résumé. Exhibitions include the San Diego Museum of Art, Monterey Museum of Art, Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, and Triton Museum of Art.

Aaron Johnson - Résumé


University of California at Santa Cruz - Postgraduate Certificate in Art
Fifth-year program in studio art, emphasis in painting and drawing, 1988

Il Bisonte International School of Graphic Art, Florence, Italy
Intaglio printmaking courses, Fall, 1983

University of California at Santa Cruz - Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art
Emphasis in painting and printmaking, 1983
Chancellor’s Undergraduate Award, 1983

Center for Environmental Structure, Berkeley, California
Apprenticeship with architect Christopher Alexander, June-October, 1981

Solo Exhibitions:

2018 - Trees at the Airport, Ella's at the Airport, Watsonville, CA
2016 - California Trees, Negative Space Gallery, San Francisco
2016 - Oaks at Ella's, Ella's at the Airport, Watsonville, CA
2014 - Vino Cruz, Santa Cruz
2014 - Om Gallery, Santa Cruz
2013 - Main Street Garden & Café, Soquel, CA
2011 - Los Árboles, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, University of California, Santa Cruz
2010 - Simpkins Center, Santa Cruz
2010 - Alfaro Winery, Corralitos, CA
2010 - Café Ella, Hollister, CA
2009 - Seabright Brewery, Santa Cruz
1998 - Round Valley Resource Center, Covelo, CA
1996 - James Irvine Gallery, Stanford University
1988 - University of California at Santa Cruz
1983 - University of California at Santa Cruz

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2016 - Trees, Public Library, downtown branch, Santa Cruz
2016 - Santa Cruz Woodworkers. R. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz
2016 - Salon at the Triton, Statewide 2D Exhibition, Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara, CA
2015 - Views from the Hill: Looking Out, Looking In, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, UC Santa Cruz
2015 - One Hundred Trees, Scotts Valley Public Library, Scotts Valley, CA
2014 - In a Golden State: 84th Annual Statewide Exhibition, Santa Cruz Art League
2014 - Bridging Santa Cruz: Spanning 50 Years of Printmaking, Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA
2013 - The Great Outdoors, Scotts Valley Public Library, Scotts Valley, CA
2012 - Color and Light: 82nd Annual Statewide Exhibition, Santa Cruz Art League
2011 - Into the Woods, Santa Cruz County Bank Arts Collaborative
2011 - The Art of the Book in California, Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University
2010 - STARS, The Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
2010 - Art Grows in Corralitos (First Place award) Corralitos Cultural Center, CA
2010 - Plein Air: Connecting with the Land, Land Trust of SC / Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA
2010 - Nature's Treasures - Contemporary Landscape Painters of California, Santa Cruz Art League
2010 - Ink and Clay 36, Kellogg University Art Gallery, Cal Poly Pomona
2010 - Legends: A Juried Exhibition of California Printmaking, San Luis Obispo Art Center, CA
2010 - Featured Artist, Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County
2009 - Small Works: Printed Images by the CA Soc. of Printmakers, Market Street Gallery, San Francisco
2009-10 Harvest Festival, Corralitos Cultural Center, Corralitos, CA
2008-9 Delta National Small Prints Exhibition (purchase awards), Bradbury Gallery, Arkansas State Univ.
2007 - Annual Print Sale, Oakland Museum Collector's Gallery, Oakland, CA
2007 - Landscapes, Ironwood Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
2007 - 77th Annual Statewide Exhibit (Best of Show award), Santa Cruz Art League
2006 - California Masters, Santa Cruz Art League, Santa Cruz
2005 - Monterey Museum of Art Biennial, Monterey, CA
2005 - Landscape Trio, Nido Gallery, Moss Landing, CA
2004 - Go Figure, Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts, Santa Cruz
2004 - Erickson Gallery, Healdsburg, CA
2003-10 STARS, The Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz
2003 - 73rd Annual Statewide Exhibit, Santa Cruz Art League
2002 - The American Landscape, A Nationwide Survey, Santa Cruz Art League
1998 - Artists Guild All California Juried Exhibition, San Diego Museum of Art
1995 - The Garden Show, The Pope Gallery, Santa Cruz, CA
1995 - UCSC Printers, Pajaro Valley Gallery, Watsonville, CA
1994 - The Spring Show, Round Valley Center for the Arts, Covelo, CA
1992 - Round Valley Center for the Arts, Covelo, CA
1989 - An Understanding with the Hills, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, UC Santa Cruz
1989 - Exemplary Contemporary, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, UC Santa Cruz
1988 - Art in Process, University of California at Santa Cruz
1988 - Exemplary Contemporary, Eloise Pickard Smith Gallery, UC Santa Cruz
1982 - Prints Related to Literature, Film, and Typography, McHenry Library, UC Santa Cruz

Professional Experience:

Cabrillo College, Aptos, California
Instructor. Woodcut and Relief Printmaking. Spring 2004

The Yolla Bolly Press, Covelo, California
Head Pressman. Letterpress printing of limited-edition books (approximately thirty), including production planning and scheduling, typesetting, assisting in design, preparing text and illustration layouts, providing instructions to the bindery, and teaching apprentices. 1982-2002.
Illustrator. Cut and printed a suite of eight multi-color woodcuts for the first edition of John Fowles’ essay The Nature of Nature. Printed this essay and The Tree as a limited edition for the Press. 1995

University of California at Santa Cruz
Beginning Drawing Instructor. Spring 1988
Intaglio Printmaking Studio Manager and Technician. 1987-8
Teaching Assistant. Taught with professor Kathryn Metz and visiting artist Zarina Hashmi in beginning intaglio and relief printmaking courses. 1987-8

Related Experience:

Congressional Office of Sam Farr - Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz Counties, California
Judge. Selection of award winners for the annual high school Congressional Art Competition. 2008

Round Valley Unified School District, Covelo, California
Artist-in-Residence. Drawing and printing instruction for elementary school students in the “Arts Alive” program. Round Valley was among thirteen schools commissioned by the State Department of Education to develop a model arts program. 2000-1

Round Valley Community Theater, Covelo, California
Volunteer. Art direction, set painting and construction, and acting for most of the Theater’s productions. Painted on canvas the 8’x 24’ forest-scene backdrop for the 1999 performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 1990-2001


© copyright 2005-2017 Aaron Johnson / 831.477.9282 / aaron@aaronjohnson.net