Fresh off the back of her first gallery exhibition 'The Art Of Horse Racing' with fellow artist and Sixteen Gallery owner Andy Owen-Smith, equestrian artist Emily Johnson discusses her main inspirations and her process for creating her excellent equine pieces.
Where did you grow up?
"I grew up in Eastbourne, East Sussex. I moved to Gloucestershire to carry out an Equine Science Degree at Hartpury College, this is where I immersed myself in the anatomy and physiology of the horse."
How did your interest in art begin?
"I have had a passion for all things creative from a young age. Always drawing or making something, usually combining this in some way with my love of animals."
What inspires you to create art?
"I am hugely inspired by other artists work, 10 minutes on Pinterest and I’m chomping on the bit to create something. I also find photography incredibly useful if I'm lacking inspiration. Going out with the camera helps me to start breaking down what I see into smaller compositions, usually then sparking some interesting ideas."
Are there any artists you’re influenced by?
"Yes, hundreds! I love the old masters, particularly ones who specialised in equestrian portraiture. George Stubbs, Alfred Munnings and Michelangelo to name just a few, but also more modern, more contemporary artists that we see on Instagram today."
What do you think of the art scene in Cheltenham?
"I think it’s exciting. It definitely seems to be growing. It’s a great place to get inspiration."
Is this your first gallery exhibition?
"Yes. I have exhibited work in curated shows, and have my work in other galleries but never held my own exhibition before. I have really enjoyed the experience."
What advice do you have for other artists looking to hold an art exhibition?
"I would highly recommend having a private view, it's a lovely opportunity to make clients feel special and give them a first look at your work."
Are you enjoying exhibiting at Sixteen Gallery?
"Yes really enjoying it! It’s a beautiful space in a lovely part of Cheltenham. Definitely going to do it again."