‘Great art is always memorable’

Mayor’s Office Artist of the Month Daryl D. Johnson offers insight

Artist name: Daryl D. Johnson

Artist website: www.DarylDJohnsonArtist.com

Where are you from? I was born in Manhattan in New York City. Raised in the suburbs. I have lived in Michigan, Cincinnati, got married in Connecticut and moved to New Hampshire in 1988 to raise a family.

What is your technique? I work with oil paints because they make very durable art. I like to work on a canvas surface that is quite rough. I work my brushes so very hard I wear them out quickly. I usually first paint a base of a warm color, such as orange, and paint on top of that. The orange peaks out all over. My work has been described as “gestural realism”.

Why art? My husband jokes that English is my second language because my visual senses are very heightened. I’ve done set design, graphic design, website design but now I focus on my studio practice full time.

What are the primary ideas you hope to express in your work? That there is energy in nature all around us. My work is approachable because it displays familiar views, but the subtext is the chi, the energy of the skies, clouds, landscape views. I would like people to perceive that the earth is breathing when they see my work.

What is the role of Art in the community in your opinion? Art conveys ideas and perspectives to share, enjoy, discuss. It can be uncomfortable, it can be compelling or confrontational, but great art is always memorable. Always uplifting.

What have been some of your favorite venues? Right here in Nashua we have the ArtHub Gallery on Temple Street and I love the NH Art Association Gallery in Portsmouth. I plan to show work in Nashua’s Art Walk event in the fall.

What is your favorite museum? Clore Gallery at Tate Britain in London. It is filled with Turner’s magnificent paintings. I have been multiple times to inhale these masterpieces.

What has been the biggest challenge in your experience as an artist? Writing about my work!

What do you love most about working as an artist in New Hampshire? New Hampshire is a great place to ride a motorcycle from which I get inspiration. The air is so fresh and the light clear. The changing seasons always keeps us on our toes in anticipation and delight. I like being connected with the creative community here to support other artists.

Any advice for aspiring artists? Try lots of different media. Experiment. I am working with Japanese brushes on paper right now with very black ink called Sumi to loosen my hand and focus on the stroke.

Johnson’s art is on exhibit at the Mayor’s Office, Nashua City Hall. For more information on the artist, the Nashua Area Artists Association or its gallery, go to www.nashuaareaartistsassoc.org and/or www.naaa-arthub.org. To participate in the Mayor’s Office Artist of the Month program and be featured in The Telegraph’s Encore edition, you must be a member in good standing of the Nashua Area Artists’ Association. You can sign up at the NAAA’s website, under programs or contact Jacqueline@nashuaareaartistsassoc.org.