The Visitor’s Choice Award in the 34th Derbyshire Open Art Competition goes to Millstone Graveyard by Stuart Johnson. Well done, Stuart, you are the people’s champion!
Stuart is pleased to receive the recognition of Buxton Museum’s visitors but also very relaxed. He is no stranger to success in the county’s premier art competition. In 2012, his painting, Mam Tor- Sunrise, also bagged the Visitor’s Choice Award. Last year, another of his creations, Kinder Downfall, received no less than the top prize, the Derbyshire Trophy.
It seems that if you want to succeed in the Derbyshire Open, you should take a leaf out of Stuart’s book. I asked him why he thought his art resonated so well with both judges and visitors. He speculated that it is easy to relate to his choice of subjects; many of the images that Stuart selects exemplify Derbyshire, particularly the millstones of this year’s winning picture.
Despite his achievements, it is encouraging to some of us that Stuart has no formal training in art. It is merely a pastime he has kept up for fifty years, alongside walking, rock climbing and other outdoor pursuits. He takes his time in his own studio, allowing two or three weeks to complete a piece. We look forward to seeing what he brings in next year. If you feel inspired by Stuart’s endeavours and you would like to have a go yourself, check our website.