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Combat artists

16 Aug 2019 13:34


While training in Norway during NATO Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, soldiers in the Alliance may have glimpsed an unusual sight: Richard Johnson, standing beside their formations with a sketch pad and pencil. Johnson has sketched troops in combat, at rest and on the move, capturing the moment. In Norway, Johnson mentored US Marine Corps Captain CJ Baumann, who says he’s benefited from Johnson’s tutelage. Footage includes shots of Johnson at work, NATO troops during Exercise Trident Juncture 2018, and soundbites from Combat Artist Richard Johnson.


“The key is, in a warzone regardless of conditions, to produce art.” Richard Johnson and Captain CJ Baumann document the military with soulful sketches.


1. (00:00) VARIOUS SHOTS – JOHNSON SKETCHING NATO TROOPS IN NORWAY 2. (00:11) VARIOUS SHOTS – US MARINE CORPS CAPTAIN CJ BAUMANN SKETCHING NATO TROOPS IN NORWAY 3. (00:17) VARIOUS ANIMATED ILLUSTRATIONS – JOHNSON’S ILLUSTRATIONS OF SOLDIERS 4. (00:46) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – RICHARD JOHNSON, COMBAT ARTIST “I usually start with the eyes. And if you can capture the eyes properly, proportionally, they help you find your way around the face, and you really just enter the whole person from there.” 5. (00:58) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – RICHARD JOHNSON, COMBAT ARTIST “So the role of a field artist is to immerse yourself in an environment, to become part of the group that you’re with to the point that you can be among them and be ignored.” 6. (01:14) SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) – RICHARD JOHNSON, COMBAT ARTIST “I’ve operated as a field artist, on and off, for the last fifteen years. Initially in Iraq, I accidentally found myself involved with the Marines during the invasion there, and since then, in Afghanistan, with Canadian forces and American forces, covering there, and also I did a couple of tours with the United Nations as a field artist covering strife in the Congo, Zimbabwe, Central African Republic. I will go anywhere that there’s a good story to tell, and I think that art can help people understand what needs to be understood in sometimes very difficult and trying conditions but also telling stories that need to be known.” 7. (02:02) VARIOUS SHOTS – US ARMY CH-47 CHINOOK HELICOPTER LANDING IN NORWAY DURING TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 8. (02:11) RACK FOCUS SHOT – US MARINE DURING TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 9. (02:15) VARIOUS SHOTS – US MARINE CORPS M1A1 ABRAMS TANK DURING TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 10. (02:25) TELEPHOTO SHOT – US MARINE CORPS MV-22 OSPREY TILTROTOR AIRCRAFT FLYING DURING TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 11. (02:28) VARIOUS SHOTS – NORWEGIAN MECHANIZED INFANTRY DURING TRIDENT JUNCTURE 2018 ###

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Oppdal, Norway
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