Meet a Distinguished Artist who carves stone, paints, and sculpts

Distinguished artist, Rebecca Johnson, is a stone carver, painter, and sculptor. Creating art with different mediums, she works in a renovated barn studio in Anderson Valley, California. I want you to know her work because it made such an impression on me when I stayed at Brewery Gulch Inn and saw her work displayed on the walls of the Inn in Spring 2021.

Anderson Valley in Northern California

Anderson Valley is about three hours north of San Francisco. Santa Rosa Airport is the closest at 85 miles away. If you’re driving on Highway 101, head west on Highway 128 through the stately trees of the Navarro River Redwoods State Park.

Anderson Valley is known for late harvest wines and sparkling wines. Just north of Sonoma County, this region is off-the-beaten-path and features breathtaking scenery.

Art With Different Mediums

Ms. Johnson creates art with different mediums. They include bronze, basalt, granite, limestone, salvaged barn wood, acrylic paint, hydro-cal plaster, driftwood, and more.

About the Artist

This Master artist has practiced her craft since childhood. Growing up in an art-centric family, Ms. Johnson was educated in Fine Arts in Pennsylvania and Sculpture in New Jersey. Her fellowship work heavily influenced her in Northwest Wales, and she pursued her passion for rural nature and poetic vision.

Group exhibitions, one-person shows, awards, fellowships, grants, and public commissions shaped her professional career. Ms. Johnson was an Assistant Museum Curator, Assistant Professor Sculpture, an Instructor of Painting, Drawing, Art History, 2-D& 3-D Design at the college level. Read more about her career here.

Responding to the Environment

Ms. Johnson says she is an artist responding to the environment. She said, “Place comes from the earth. Sculpture comes from the land.” Her materials come from a place, for example, wood from Mendocino County and stone from Vermont. She bridges some of the mediums with painting.

She is a collector of salvaged boards from redwood barn siding. Fifteen years ago, her barn projects grew out of the materials she recovered. The projects grow organically, she said.

Rebecca Johnson has a new crop of barns every year, usually producing five to six in an average year. See her Sheltering in Place project, “When Time Stands Still,” The Barns of 2020.

Put Down Roots in Mendocino

When I asked Ms. Johnson how she came to put down roots in Mendocino, she told me she responded to a job opening at Sonoma State University. While on sabbatical at the time, she had a one-year window with no job. This seemed like the perfect time to try something new. She was ready to relocate from the East Coast to somewhere urbane but rural. California wine country has that charm and sophistication. It was a perfect time and place. She found a studio to rent and has been in Mendocino County for 24 years.

Our Distinguished Artist Quote

Rebecca Johnson says she lives inspiration every day.

See images of Brewery Gulch Inn here.