Dana Johns

"I grew up on a river in Southwest Georgia, where the waters slow down and settle, and much of my childhood was spent on, in, and around this water. I think that the beauty and mystery of this place were revealing something that was beyond the material, something spiritual...my first notions of joy?  Whatever it was, whatever it is...that is what I am striving to communicate in my painting."

 

It has been a decade since I wrote this artist statement and my thinking and feeling about painting has not changed.  In fact I’d say my love for my subject of inspiration has only deepened over time.  I’ve been greatly influenced by my dad, a fisherman and bird dog trainer.  He is a quiet man who is very observant of the natural world.  We spent hours fishing on Lake Blackshear and the Flint River when I was a child.  We’d explore the slews and backwater of the lake and river.  At other times we'd be out with the bird dogs in the large fields, always lined by woods. He would point out the random birds flying toward a stand of trees, explaining they were “going to roost “.  Daddy enjoyed inhabiting quiet and still outdoor places, and because of this I think I began to appreciate the otherness of the natural world.  I don't think I realized that this was to be the subject for my art until I was in college and majoring in painting.  This was a time of looking inward and realizing how my soul had been shaped by the landscape.  These days I live in Athens, Georgia and rarely a week goes by that I don’t find time to get out for a long walk through the hardwood forests nearby.