“When I paint, I forget about being handicapped”…”I am pulled into the dimensions of the canvas before me and I feel free.”
– Wendell B. Johnson
Welcome to Wendell B. Johnson’s virtual gallery and biography pages online. Wendell Johnson was a quadriplegic artist whose body of work contains hundreds of oil paintings and ink and colored pencil drawings in a realist style. His work spans many genres, but his best loved paintings include landscapes depicting majestic Utah landscapes (especially many scenes of Maple Mountain), western subjects (most notably his “Percherons”), and religious art such as his most famous work, “Gethsemane” (a portrait of Christ). Inspired by a deep love of nature, Wendell drew his inspiration mainly from his surroundings, and enjoyed rendering the fine details in his paintings the very most, stating that “the greatest beauty is in the smallest details”. He strove for realism and rich color, as he set out to make each new painting his best yet.
Wendell Johnson was not only an artist but a great example and an active member of the community. Serving as Justice of the Peace for six years, and later as Mapleton’s mayor from 1982 – 1986, he also co-authored two books, married, raised a daughter, and designed the blueprints for his own home, all despite his difficult circumstances. His great lesson in life was one of patience and endurance despite challenges. One of the biggest goals we have in maintaining this site is to help others learn from Wendell’s example. He believed wholeheartedly in setting and meeting goals, and in the power we all have to achieve wonderful, positive things in our lives.