February 21, 2024

Beauty Arts

The Arts Authority

Haunting houses: Greenwood artist captures eerie beauty of historic buildings

Haunting houses: Greenwood artist captures eerie beauty of historic buildings

The haunted attractiveness of the historic properties materializes like a specter in black and white ink.

A stone angel shrouded in 50 % shadows peers down from a rooftop. Foreboding darkness oozes from powering Victorian adornments. Gothic-arches windows keep strategies guiding them.

Fantastical elements — steampunk airships, winged wraiths, a jack-o-lantern-faced figure — pop up in surprising places in considerably of James “Jim” Johnson’s artwork.

“I see each and every of my drawings to be a setting for a story,” he claimed.

Johnson’s beautiful pen and ink drawings enter the spotlight at the Southside Art League in January, as the Greenwood resident is the guest artist at the group’s Off Broadway Gallery. His function blends pictures of classic homes and chuches — together with a number of historic households in Previous City Greenwood — with factors of fantasy and horror.

The exhibition is on screen now, and lasts by Jan. 28.

“I hope that men and women who come out are entertained,” he stated. “About the only thing that I can do effectively is drawing. I would like I was a superior electrician or a excellent woodworker or a very good plumber. But the only issue I can do effectively is attract.”

However Johnson is relatively new to the style of drawing he’s at present operating on, he has been included in artwork for most of his life.

Johnson pinpoints his initial foray into the entire world of art when he was a little one in the early 1950s.

“My moms and dads would choose me to church on Sunday mornings, and they would give me a pencil and a piece of paper to hold me occupied,” he reported. “That was the begin for me.”

Growing up in Indianapolis, he attended Manual Significant School and studied with artwork instructor Robert Crawford, a famous region artist and board member of the Southside Artwork League. Johnson attended Herron College of Art after graduation, and was utilized as an illustrator and end artist at L.S. Ayres for 7 yrs.

Following a stint carrying out freelance perform, he worked for the Indianapolis Star and Indiananpolis Information as an illustrator and designer for 19 several years.

At the time he retired, he experienced time to target a lot more on his drawing. He blended it with his lifelong like of fantasy and authors this kind of as H.P. Lovecraft, Ray Bradbury and J.R.R. Tolkien.

“A number of several years in the past, I begun executing drawings that ended up previous properties. I’d go out into the Fountain Square region, and then I branched out from accomplishing previous Victorian properties and aged church buildings and place aspects of fantasy in it,” he reported.

The ornate architectural things of people properties fascinated him, and he preferred to seize the mysticism of the designs. Given that shifting to Greenwood a several yrs in the past, he has included the standout households and constructions in the Aged Town spot as nicely.

Other facets of his perform draws from Edward Burne Jones, a painter and designer connected with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

“I’m really ecclectic,” he explained.

Johnson’s exhibition opened to the community on Jan. 4, and will continued to be on display screen throughout January. He will host a reception for the public at the gallery on Jan. 13, where he will be obtainable to interact with individuals whilst conveying his do the job. Light refreshments will be readily available.

“The only skill I have is drawing, and I believe I’m quite superior at it,” he explained.