Artist of the Month: Roman Johnston
Discover museum-quality, photographic art by Roman Johnston.
Find out more about the artist.
About Roman Johnston
While walking through the Portland Japanese Garden, Roman Johnston lets his gaze wander over the impressive landscape. He marvels at both the harmony and power of nature. Lush greens of trees surround and fascinate him. For almost 20 years these gardens have inspired his art, and still he is amazed every time. Searching for a motif is an emotional and contemplative task for the artist. He approaches the matter leisurely and with plenty of time so that he can capture his subject’s unique atmosphere and incomparable beauty – and share it with his audience.
Japanese Garden Art is an old tradition based on Japanese history and philosophy. They are often built as integral parts of temples and shrines, like historical sites that attract many tourists. Their detailed arrangements of stones, mosses, water and trees, embody the harmonious nature of Earth’s elements. This tradition has been recognized outside of Japan for a long time now, and these special tranquil spaces can now be found in many different parts of the world. The Portland Japanese Garden in Washington Park is an exceptional example of Far Eastern tradition and has been described as one of the most authentic Japanese Gardens outside of Japan.
Johnston likes to change his motifs depending on the season. The garden changes during Autumn, like the Fall changes the colors of the trees, their effect on the observer changes too. This aspect is meticulously included within garden design. They use it to create striking contrasts between evergreens and seasonal greens. Johnston embraces this beautiful detail skillfully, presenting both harmony and contrast in his exceptional compositions.
For me, photography is about capturing the emotions and energy of a place.
Roman Johnston’s work is guided by one, simple philosophy: The world is full of beauty that we often overlook. That’s why his work attempts to bring the viewer closer to the wonderment of nature that often goes unnoticed during hectic everyday life. When the viewer sees the harmonious power of the gardens that he captures, it evokes emotion and releases energy.
Johnston’s process is done calmly. He prepares for his photos with lots of time and lengthy walks, searching for his next motif. He has known the Portland Japanese Garden for many years, he knows the trees and the streams, and how to capture them.