Artist Spotlight | Helen Alice Johnson
From the Artist:
Living and working in Alston, an area of outstanding natural beauty in Cumbria, I am influenced by the beauty and majesty of the landscape that surrounds me. My work aims to explore the relationship between people and nature and how we can work together in harmony to make the world a better place!
I make my work from a combination of first-hand observational drawings and
paintings in the open air, backed up by photos as aide memoirs back in the studio, as well as imagination to produce a final piece on canvas using mixed media, including oil paint, non-recyclable plastics either collaged or ‘soldered’ onto the canvas, gold leaf, pastels as well as more natural materials found in nature such as peat, elderberry juice, beetroot.
I want people to enjoy my images and to perhaps re look at their own environment through a more vibrant lens, but then on closer inspection to discover the different materials on the canvas and ask questions as to why I have used them on my work; why it is there. There is invariably a reference to people in my work, whether it be a stone wall, a hint of a steeple or building, or an empty seat.
I am currently working on a garden series for 2022. Each week I visit a garden either in the UK or Northern France and seek inspiration for my paintings.
I was Artist in Residence at Rydal Mount and Gardens, Cumbria from 2019 to 2020. Working in what was William Wordsworth's home and gardens was a real privilege and his interest in and passion for the environment is hopefully reflected in my work. I continue to visit regularly and the residency helped to inspire my recent garden series.