Raymond Jonson-also known as C Raymond Johnson-was an artist who managed to dedicate himself to the discipline of art while always remaining open to creative interpretations, or outright breakage, of the rules.
He was, from the start, a diligent and serious student who began his formal studies at The Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. He subsequently moved to the Chicago Art Institute where he was respected for his skills and discipline and where he showed a particular gift as a draftsman.
The exposure to the innovative art to which he had access in Chicago forever changed Raymond Jonson. He developed an awareness that art was a realm of complete freedom, with practitioners unbound by conventions and who had as much liberty as they chose to take in their works.
He developed this philosophy in Santa Fe, New Mexico, founding the Transcendental Painting Group and becoming a teacher at the University of New Mexico. The University today is home to the Jonson Gallery which contains much of his archive.
Jonson himself was an affable man who personally gave tours around the museum dedicated to him. He was an advocate for all New Mexico artists, even those who worked in genres he did not favor.