Monday, April 11, 2011

Artist Conversations - Sonya Johnson and Scott Price

Artists Sonya Johnson and Scott Price have paired up to talk about their artwork in the first installment of what will be a regular blog series called Artist Conversations. Click on each image or corresponding artwork title for purchasing information. We'll begin with Scott's questions for Sonya.

Scott: Describe your art and how it is created?

Sonya: Most of my paintings have their origins in photographs taken of an event, object or scene that appealed to me on some emotional or aesthetic level. I never travel without my camera; it is the first tool in my creative process. Back in my studio, the photos serve as a loose guide for a painting - my goal then becomes to create a painting based on what originally inspired the photograph - rather than copying the photograph itself. I work in both oil and soft pastel, and I find there are some pieces that work better in one medium or the other, and my style ranges from realism with a surrealistic edge to colorist-based pieces, with most of my landscapes falling within a more impressionist style.

 Travels Abroad #1 by Sonya Johnson

Scott: How did you become an artist?

Sonya: My road to becoming an artist was long and indirect. Actually, I've drawn and done some type of art all of my life, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I decided to pursue it as a primary focus. Many years ago in college, I took two art classes that counted as humanities credits in my very science-oriented major, and absolutely loved them. Instead of pursuing a degree in art, I chose what I thought would be a more practical career in medicine. During my time in medical school, I did commissioned medical illustrations, after teaching myself to use pen and ink, and also enjoyed that immensely.

After my residency was finished, I relocated to northern AZ to set up my practice in what I thought would be a life-long career as a podiatrist. During that time, I had discovered and began doing mixed media realistic equine sculpture, in which I found a niche and a good customer base. Sales from my art helped pay for my living expenses while I tried to get my practice going.

Ultimately, after struggling for eight years to make a living in what became an increasingly unrewarding and unpleasant job, I decided to retire at the end of 2006. I briefly continued working in mixed media sculpture after our move to New England, but in fall of '09, decided to focus on my real passion: landscapes, with an emphasis on the southwest and Colorado Plateau region where I currently reside.

Two Gray Hills by Sonya Johnson

Scott: Is there anything you'd like to share about the creative process or how art benefits those who view it?

Sonya: I think all art has to have its foundation in an underlying passion or inspiration of the artist, whatever that might be. I find inspiration and beauty everywhere around me - in the classical elements of earth, water, air and fire of the landscape - as well as all things living. What I hope to accomplish for those that view my paintings is to share a bit of what moves me and brings me joy, and hope that it will resonate with them on some level as well...basically, the same things that I want art to do for me as a viewer.

Now we'll flip the table and see what Scott has to say about his work... 

 Frose by Scott Price

Sonya: What, or whom, has helped influence your art? Historical? Contemporary? Family? Teachers?

Scott: My influence to create visual art was purely accidental. I went on a solo wilderness trip and took a bunch of photos and one campfire photo was an angel in the flame. When I got home and edited the pictures they became my first art pieces. My Etsy item Frose is one of these images. My relationship to historical art and community is just a winding path to me that leads where it may.

 Sonova by Scott Price

Sonya: What are the sources of inspiration for your art? That includes subjects (ie, nature) or themes (ie color), as well as things like music, etc. that might inspire you while you are working.

Scott: My main inspiration is how our inner state projects the beauty we see, a wonderful connection artists have is pulling out and presenting the beauty they see in ordinary things or abstract images. My underlying motivation to add beauty to the World and my images tend to have inspiring or healing energy. I enjoy listening to Sigur Ros and Jonsi when creating though I don't seem to consciously hear the music.

 Ghost Girl by Scott Price

Sonya: Explain a bit about your favorite medium(s) and materials, including how long you've been working in it/them, and why it/they are your favorite(s). Feel free to share a bit about your process here as well.

Scott: It has been less than 2 years since my first art image. It took many many tries to find materials and production to have the images become the power behind them. With digital art there is a huge difference between what you see on the monitor and what is printed. My process of printing on various fine art papers which are fronted with acrylic glass give a vibrant color and depth that surpasses the digital form. I choose to present the images without frame and floating from the wall which gives the art a sense of lightness and simplicity. I suggest to everyone not to underestimate the power of bringing beauty and new energy into what you do, it transforms the environment and strengthens intentions.

Be sure and visit both of their shops to see more of their work - thank you Scott and Sonya! 

Scott Price
Sonya Johnson


  1. Thank you for feature Finding Fine Art! It looks wonderful

  2. Thank you so much for suggesting this Artist Conversation series, and hosting it on the FFA blog, Jessica! I'm so pleased that Scott and I could be a part of it - I enjoyed learning a bit more about Scott and his work through our exchange.

    I look forward to following this series and getting to know our fellow Finding Fine Art artists through these conversations.


  3. Great post! These conversations are such a fabulous idea.

    aka colorpoetry and brushwithimagination

  4. Great interview! Great idea for the blog. Love both of your work.

  5. It's so cool to read how various life paths brought these two to where they are today as artists. These conversations were a great idea, and I'm looking forward to the ones that follow. Thanks for the idea, Jessica, and thanks to Sonja and Scott for sharing!

  6. WOW, this is so cool ;o) what a lovely format and what gorgeous work ;o)