Duncan Macdonald Johnson
Duncan’s art represents an attempt to capture an experience of the landscape of West Wales and The Western Highlands of Scotland. Rather than trying to create a photographic sense of realism, he hopes to communicate something about the spirit of a place, drawing inspiration from its sounds and smells, its atmosphere, and the feelings it provokes.
Painting seems to him inseparable from his sense of belonging in the landscape. He will often return many times to a location to paint it, getting to know it more deeply as he does so. He feels that this way of working helps to infuse the paintings with a consciousness of the passing of time and season. Having said that, he does not wish to reflect an idealised view of the landscape, rather, he aims for a truthful balance between ‘wild’ nature and the immense and ever-changing impact of human activity on the land.
Above all, his work is a series of responses to the landscape, encountered in solitude. He finds 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 his painting; even his choice of colour is often a way of conveying his emotional response to a place. He finds that music serves to enhance or intensify his moods in a way that assists the creative process.