Tony Johansen An artist passionate about paint
I started making paint some time around 1980. David at Oxford Art Supplies had arranged for me to meet the late John Buckwell who was at that time the Paint Chemist at Matisse/Derivan a local acrylics manufacturer. I remember it well, a sunny afternoon. John welcomed me into his laboratory and started to reveal the make up of acrylic paints, and how he could test them, and experiment with all manner of new products.

Over subsequent months John would give me samples of experimental resins and pigments for me to 'try'. This was the beginning of a love affair with the most intimate secrets of my craft that has continued to this day.

By 1989 I had written the beginnings of this treatise, self published under the very original tile of 'Artist's Pigments'. I was in correspondence with major paint manufacturers around the world questioning dubious practices and lobbying for the adoption of new higher performance pigments, the discontinuing of pigments of poor quality, and the adoption of universal standards such as ASTM. No doubt the passionate artist from Australia with his humble booklet was seen by some as a minor irritation rather than a help. However it has been pleasing to see that many of the concerns I was raising at the time were becoming items of of serious consideration due to many other people also recognizing a need for change.

Why do I make paint? Because I need to sometimes
I rarely make paint. I have a high regard for the skills and experience of most manufacturers. But there are times that a color I want and need is simply not made. I enjoy then the empowerment of the artist independent of the manufacturers for all of my needs. I simply get the pigment and make a batch of the color into the paint I require. I have for example the most gorgeous deep Permanent Rose which is actually made by Old Holland as a watercolor and as an oil paint, but not as an acrylic which I work in. So I just made my own and the color is wonderful to use - as an acrylic.

I also have some Venetian Red pigment from the same quarry that supplied Titian. To me it is sheer poetry to make up a color just as Titian would have as an apprentice, and then be able to use it. For me that is artist's heaven, to be able to feel the touch of the ages of wonderful art as I work. It is not rational, but it is real.

Have a look at my work I hope you enjoy it
My artwork has become increasingly web oriented over the last 2 years. My larger paintings have their own web sites where background information, out takes (if any) are found and the 'making of' story demanded by modern pop culture.

I am using the internet as a global virtual gallery, bypassing the regular gallery system and finding a global audience. It seems my work is very popular in North America and Northern Europe (especially Britain, Netherlands and Germany). Increasing numbers of visitors come from China and India too. Recently the New York Arts magazine placed me on their site as a 'pick and tip' for 2006. Little do these people realize that this online exhibition is in some cases showing paints that may be made by age old methods alongside the latest high tech product of a laboratory. Isn't life strange these days?

Here are 3 web sites about my work to choose from, or enjoy all 3. Don't forget to bookmark me for future reference. Enjoy.

                     My main web site:

                     Diary Of An Artist In A New World - My online journal

                     Gatherr - A fluid stream of cultural consciousness (scrapbook)

                     A self portrait:

                     A portrait of Leo Sayer:

                     Classes (Sydney only):

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