ABOUT LIBBY JOHNSON
Artist & Educator
The work is concerned with the fleeting moment and of impermanence that is inherent in the way light reacts to the time of day and the seasons of the year. Light’s manifestations are evident in these paintings in its momentary effects on objects, both in the landscape and in the still life. While beauty is present in these illuminations, it is bound up in a sense of mystery and disquiet and in the uncertainty of moments just gone and those to come.
In the landscapes, humanity is intentionally overwhelmed by the vastness and the turbulence of nature but is simultaneously comforted by the refuge of its perpetual cycles and timelessness. In the still life paintings, human participation is only implied – the objects hint at a presence that intends them to be an enhancement of life.
The reference to extreme light in these works also provides a bounty of opportunity for extremes in color, shape and value. Strong illumination is a vehicle for intensity of color in some areas and, in other areas, darkness that replaces edges of forms with mysterious expanses of space. I am freshly astounded by this union between abstraction and illusion of nature. The balance of the two is something I strive for – a situation in which both the formal elements and the illusion are separate entities but coexist is such a way as to offer complete support to the other. This constant play between the two is a constant source of joy.
– Libby Johnson