Rick Johns earned his MFA in 1994 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion where he currently lives and works as an artist and craftsman. During a 12-year hiatus from painting, Rick Johns focused on designing and building boats. This combined his woodworking skills and his design sensibilities to create functional forms that innately possessed and elicited a strong sense of beauty. In the time away from the Art world, he shed theory and academia to create work that is grounded, personal and honest. A painting is a result of a process, not unlike anything made from raw materials, and is complete when a similar sense of beauty or “rightness” is felt.As a craftsman, Johns still designs and builds a multitude of projects from custom remodeling to site specific woodworking projects to a straw bale house. This aspect of his life has had the greatest influence on his recent painting. It is from the countless marks, notes and sketches involved in a building project to the uncovering and discovery of beauty in something that is being dismantled that is most directly inspiring his work. These remnants possess value because they have a genuine freshness and honesty. His paintings, as a result, aim to possess similar qualities and elicit an intrinsic sense of wholeness.