Rebecca Johnson Painter Sculptor



The barns are bas relief paintings made of plaster and salvaged redwood barn siding. These paintings are simple and quiet. Sky, land, horizon and barn. 

One hundred years ago in rural Northern California, redwood trees a thousand or more years old, were cut down to clear land and build barns for ranches and farms. Now many of these barns are dilapidated. Ranch lands have been divided into smaller parcels. The few remaining old growth trees are in parks or at risk. A way of life has come and gone.

I use salvaged boards to build my paintings. The boards have a memory, when I paint I can hear the wind blow across open fields, dust motes float in the shafts of light between the board and battens, I see swallows swoop from mud nests high in the rafters and eaves. I am reminded of my childhood, jumping from a hayloft in a barn in rural Hopewell, New Jersey.
My paintings provide a space for the old barns to stand. Patterns in the weathered wood read like a map of the past, one can sense the history of the tree and a way of life come and gone. Each painting is a pause in the flow of time moving onward.