Johnny (born in Nelson 1973) has lived on the West Coast of the South Island most of his life. He is a self- taught painter, starting at the age of 18. Johnny is classed as an investment artist. Originally inspired by a love of trout fishing; hunting chamois and deer on the alpine tops of various mountain ranges has given him the inspiration to produce many challenging art works depicting animals in there rugged alpine environment. He is fascinated with the details of rocks together with soft wind swept tussocks and exciting backdrops. His animals are often centre point in his beautiful alpine scenes. As too are his stunning depictions of Brown and Rainbow trout.
Environmental degradation from various mining and agricultural businesses gives him the “fuel” to depict what he believes should be most important to us all - the environment around us and the animals with which we share it.
“ I hope by investing substantial time and effort into a picture, the viewer may repay efforts exerted by allowing just a little time to reflect upon the subject at hand - be it a Trout swimming in a stream or a digger digging it up!”
As such, Johnny is hopeful that his work can sway people more towards the conservation of what treasures we already behold, and away from a short sighted mentality so prevalent in our modern society today where money and development so often take precedence over (almost) even life itself.
The controversial Arnold river hydro scheme near Greymouth, has inspired the artist to put together a collection of work supportive of the river that has given him more inspiration and conviction than anything else.
“I am who I am today mostly because of trout fishing and it is the Arnold river that first showed me just what it can be to fish in a productive, stimulating environment - there are no other waterways on the coast like the Arnold of which can exude such a feeling of anticipation and content.”
The Arnold River, Johnny explains, showed him, in the early stages of his fishing career, what it was to be a true angler.
“I may very well not have progressed if not for the rivers overwhelming generosity.”
As such, he adds, he might very well have not become an artist!
“I owe so much to the experiences I have had on this unique river…I’m buggered if I’m going to sit by and watch various big-headed business men try and convert my heritage into a personal cash cow without some sort of fight! It’s not a simple case as some make out to go and fish on another river as there are no other rivers around to replace the particular experience found on the Arnold. TrustPower, however, can easily go find another hydro alternative”.
As well as paintings, Johnny is also putting together video footage for a movie he is hoping to complete showing exactly what it is that makes the river so unique from an angler’s point of view