"Johnson draws in the field, sparking an immediacy and freshness that traditional war illustrations lack . . . he never goes back to it, or fill it in, and do the ‘prettying up’ that other artists do . . . he captures the everyday reality of life on the ground through this more raw artistic approach".
JENNIFER LOCKE JONES, CURATOR OF THE SMITHSONIAN MUSEUM OF ARMED FORCES HISTORY
"The tradition of Howard Brodie and Bill Maudlin, and of Winslow Homer's stunning Civil War art for Harper's Weekly, is alive and well in the drawings of Richard Johnson."
2004: JOSEPH L. GALLOWAY, Author of "We Were Soldiers Once … and Young"
"Richard, your work is simply wonderful! WOW."
2007: MICHAEL D. FAY, Chief Warrant Officer-2 and USMC Artist-in Residence
"I not only congratulate you, but also the young writer who shared your experience … you both were sensitive and caring – the real touchstones of life."
2004: HOWARD BRODIE, Veteran Combat Artist
Richard's work, from the Iraq invasion and the war in Afghanistan is now held by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, in Washington, D.C.
"I was taught to draw by my grandfather. He started by teaching me to draw the shapes around things rather than the things themselves. This is a technique I still fall back on today, when I am struggling with proportions.
For me, drawing is about getting people to pay attention to something – to something they need to see clearly, to something studied and dissected and rendered and understood. So I draw. I draw what I see. I use that limited drawing skill, to hopefully stun people out of their daily reverie.
My grandfather's spirit travels with me still."
He lives in Maryland with his wife and children. He works as Graphics Editor and news illustrator for The Washington Post.