About California Watercolor

California Watercolor specializes in 20th and 21st Century California and American paintings. Our gallery features famous California artists that painted from the late 1920's through the 1990's (i.e. Millard Sheets, Emil Kosa Jr., Dong Kingman, Hardie Gramatky, Ken Potter, and many more). We also represent a select group of extremely talented American watercolorists that are actively painting today (i.e. Carolyn Lord, Ken Goldman, Frank Eber, Steve Santmyer, David Solomon, and others).

Please enjoy our vast online collection of California and American art, or stop by and see these paintings in person at our Southern California gallery.

How we got started:

At the age of nine, I discovered a large tin box in my grandmother’s garage in Los Angeles, CA.  In the box I found a vast amount of old letters and pictures, including daguerreotypes, tintypes, land deeds, water rights and diaries.  I discovered that my ancestors were early California settlers who had come from New York during the California Gold Rush.  This youthful experience started my fascination with not only my heritage, but all things related to California.

I bought my first painting by a California artist in 1965, shortly after graduating from high school in Santa Ynez, California, thus starting an obsession that has lasted over forty years.

In 1991 I became an art dealer on a full time basis, while at the same time continuing with my various collections.  I dealt in American oil paintings of the nineteenth and twentieth century with an emphasis on the California painters.  Realizing that I would become the world’s worst art dealer, as I hated selling these wonderful oils, I tempered this problem by collecting the “California Scene” or “Regionalist” watercolors.

Over the following years I was a contributor and sponsor of many museum exhibitions of the California Regionalist painters.  Although I attended many opening night parties, I always liked to go back on a following weekend when the general public viewed the show.  I wanted to see their reactions and listen to their genuine comments about the art.  One of the comments I heard over and over again was, “These are such wonderful paintings.  I wish I could afford one.”

Many of these unique California paintings are now available as giclée prints on Arches watercolor paper, (the same paper used by many Artists from this period), and at an affordable price ($95, $145, or $195, depending on size). Our giclées are adorned with a 1" - 3" border of textured watercolor paper and are embossed with our official seal of authenticity.

We hope you enjoy this art as much as we do.

Michael Johnson