I was born in Cowcaddens,Glasgow not many streets away from Townhead where Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born. Had my father, who was a saddler, earned more money, I would even have gone to the same school. Despite all the coincidences I was completely ignorant of the man's existence until I became an Art student and even then all that I knew about him was that he had designed the building that I was studying in.
I had the Impressionists and many other artists shoved down my throat but Charles Rennie Mackintosh was not popular with the Art intellectuals in those days. After I graduated I took to doing figurative work and it was many years before I decided to turn to abstract painting. You might like to have a look at where my figurative work took me artistically so here are a some examples.
Religious Political Controversial
I had tinkered with abstraction earlier in my career and the media were so critical that I returned to my safe haven of figurative work but I like to make people think about my work and it became controversial as a result. That meant that galleries were less than enthusiastic about showing my work. Its just as well that I didn't show them my "erotic" work. I can imagine what sort of reputation I would have gained.
A very brief glance across a street in Florence, Italy in 1989 was the re-birth of my desire to work with abstraction. Where better to undergoe a renaissance? I have myopic vision and the sight of a flood damaged old master, which looked to me like an abstract with one half gold and the other half red and black, was my inspiration for the abstraction that followed. The rest, as they say, is history. Have a look at the "Crucifixion" in the abstracts section to see what I made of what I thought I saw.
I owe a debt of gratitude to my wife for the effort that she, as the only computer literate member of the family still living with me, has put into the construction of this website. She has taken time out from her latest writing project,which is a seventy thousand word novel about life with an artist, to aid and assist me in the work involved. It is mainly thanks to her efforts that I can share my work and my life with you. I hope the response is worth her effort. She has promised to keep the website updated and I hope you will visit again and see yet more of my work and my thoughts.
Stewart B Johnson, November 1998.