Artist Johnny Stephenson was born in Decatur, GA and moved to East Point, GA at a very young age where he has lived the rest of his life. He inherited an eye for the visual from his mother, herself an artist. He always loved drawing, making marks, filling empty spaces with any and everything. Athletics, his father’s gift, interrupted his visual journey for a short time. His first camera was given to him as a surprise Christmas present to make drawing less on-site time consuming. A second lucky break, a well timed photo class at his alma mater Georgia State University allowed training with the technical basics of the craft. “I could not see the light and its effects on forms, textures and colors at first. It is beginning to be visible now”. He graduated from GSU in 1983 with a BVA and started teaching high school art and coaching soon after. After a 20 year career, working with the students is still rewarding. “It has never seemed like work doing what you love and enjoy.” Photography continued as a hobby, grew from B&W images to color work after a trip to Alaska in 1988. After meeting his wife and friend Melinda, the summer before his first year teaching, at her urging the camera began to go on hiking trips, which turned into camping trips, which turned into backcountry travels to all 50 states. He stopped coaching and took up the camera more seriously, and began showing his vision at shows and festivals 20 years ago. The opportunity to capture the beauty of nature scenes others do not get the chance to see became an important part of every trip. These images are small moments of fleeting light, short exposures from a natural world that is ever changing. The landscapes and small abstract natural details (compositions) seem not fully perceived until framed by the camera’s eye. The compositions are well balanced and flowing keeping the viewer’s eye and mind engaged. It is the artist’s hope that the images will encourage the viewer to search for their own inspirational places for unique and meaningful insights and encourage all of us to value the undisturbed landscape.
Samples of Johnny’s work: