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Duncan MacDonald  Johnson

A cottage garden in Monmouth.
Dryslwyn Castle.
In the shadow of Garn Goch.
Autumn, Ceredigion coastline.

My art represents an attempt to capture an experience of the rural Welsh landscape. Rather than trying to create a photographic sense of realism, I hope to communicate something about the spirit of a place, drawing inspiration from its sounds and smells, its atmosphere, and the feelings it provokes.

My painting seems to me inseparable from my sense of belonging in the landscape. I will often return many times to a location to paint it, getting to know it more deeply as I do so. I feel that this way of working helps to infuse the paintings with a consciousness of the passing of time and season. Having said that, I do not wish to reflect an idealised view of the landscape, rather, I aim for a truthful balance between ‘wild’ nature and the immense and ever changing impact of human activity on the land.

Above all, my work is a series of responses to the landscape, encountered in solitude. I find that isolation and the feeling of vulnerability, or even fear, that comes with it, can help attune the senses and intensify awareness in a way that is artistically productive. These experiences are central to my painting; even my choice of colour is often a way of conveying my emotional response to a place. I find that music serves to enhance or intensify my moods in a way that assists the creative process.

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