Duncan MacDonald Johnson
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.