Morning Prowl by Johannes Cowan

Sefton Open – The People’s Prize 2023

Solo exhibition by Johannes Cowan

ArtHouse, 65 Eastbank Street, Southport, Merseyside, PR8 1EJ

27th June to 8th July 2023

Once again, visitors to this year’s Sefton Open at The Atkinson in Southport were encouraged to vote for their favourite artwork on display and reward the recipient with The People’s Prize.

The 2023 winner is Johannes Cowan for his commanding digital artwork – ‘Morning Prowl’ – which has now earned him a solo showing at The ArtHouse from 27th June to the 8th July 2023. 

He said: “I have been painting professionally for five years now – but unprofessionally all my life.  My life has gone through as many changes as has the world around me, but I must say that my love of painting remains as strong as it was when I was a young man. I could not imagine my life without it.”

Recognised as one of the region’s premiere exhibitions for local artists, The Sefton Open has a long-standing reputation for its celebration of the breadth of creativity and artistic talent across the borough. Each year the call goes out to all practitioners who live, work or were educated in Sefton and this year’s eclectic exhibition included ceramics, sculpture, painting, textiles and photography.

Jemma Tynan, Exhibitions Officer at The Atkinson confirms: “It has been a bumper year for The Sefton Open with a greatly increased number of submissions, all of which were of a very high quality. Visitors have consistently commented on their enjoyment of the work within the exhibition with many returning for two or three visits so they could appreciate it all.”

Formed in 1921 to champion the work of local artists, The Atkinson’s long standing partner, Southport Palette Club, always has the challenging task of selecting the exhibited artwork from the numerous submissions each year. 2023 is the Palette Club’s 97th annual exhibition and the bar was raised once again this year with an unprecedented number of entries all vying for their space in the gallery.

Birkdale based professional artist and current Chairman of Southport Palette Club, Peter Owen, reports: “Increased submission to the Southport Palette Club meant a rigorous selection which is reflected in the quality of the work displayed in this year’s exhibition.”

This year’s People’s Prizewinner, Johannes Cowan, is a digital artist who was born in Denmark but grew up in Dublin:

“I found a love for art at around 10 years old and would sketch animals and landscapes using acrylic pencils or watercolours.  As I got older I started playing around with inks and calligraphy, and Olde English style writing took my interest. Art has always played a big part of my life, capturing landscapes wherever I’ve lived. It made me feel calm and at peace. It became a passion and completely self taught and naturally within me.”

However, growing up, fate dealt Johannes a cruel blow:

“At just 20 years old, I became paralysed and for 10 years I was unable to use my hands and lost my ability to create the art I loved so much.  I underwent hand surgery at 30 years old, to give me the ability to grip with my left hand and had to relearn how to use my hand. The first thing I picked up was a pen.  I used calligraphy to train my hand in strength and control.  Here was where my passion for art restarted.”

Persevering against all the odds, Johannes battled against adversity and built up both confidence and skill with a primary focus towards digital art:

“I use Adobe Photoshop to initially create sketches of landscapes, animals, architecture and people.  Photoshop gives me the diversity to use multiple brushes, textures and colours in great detail. I can achieve brilliant results that give me great satisfaction.”

Taking inspiration from American painter and animator, Aaron Blaise, best known for his work on Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ and ‘The Lion King’, Johannes built up his own skill base:

“Blaise, along with other artists on YouTube, provided techniques and inspiration that I would apply to my own paintings, such as learning about light and shadow.”

Johannes has since become quite methodical in generating his paintings:

“My process in creating artwork starts very simply through drawing and rough sketching using Photoshop. I do a lot of rough sketches, followed by hard sketches, then work in layers using various shading and opacity filters.  I add a flat colour to the background, then add shading to give dimension, then what really makes it jump is adding light – both hard and soft light.  Photoshop is great for adding fine detail and tweaking when I feel it’s relevant, and lets me create effects such as illusion by blurring and sharpening parts of the art to draw the eye to certain aspects of the image.”

‘Morning Prowl’ grew out of Johannes’ infatuation with the potential of the new software:

“This piece started as an idea from a dear friend of mine with whom I’d been discussing the possibilities of Photoshop. At the time it was still fairly new to me and I was excited at this whole new opportunity to create pieces using digital art and stretch my capabilities. He suggested I paint a tiger prowling through the jungle. He wanted to see a really crisp image including detail like hair and whiskers, and even water.  I was so eager to get the perfect results and eventually worked for 5 months to achieve this.  My friend was astounded at the finished piece and told me I should exhibit it wherever I could, and so I did.”

The demanding work schedule certainly paid off since the result won Johannes the public vote as the 2023 Peoples Prizewinner at the Sefton Open.

More of Johannes’ digital artwork will now be on show at his follow-up solo exhibition at The ArtHouse, 65 Eastbank Street, Southport from 27th June to the 8th July (Tues-Fri 10.00-15.00 & Sat 11.00-16.00).

 

Do you have a story for Stand Up For Southport? Please message Andrew Brown via Facebook here or email me at: mediaandrewbrown@gmail.com

23 Comments
  1. Joni 11 months ago

    If some one wishes expert view about blogging and site-building
    then i advise him/her to pay a visit this blog, Keep up the pleasant job.

  2. Casee 9 months ago

    We are a group of volunteers and starting a new scheme in our community.
    Your site offered us with valuable info to work on. You have
    done a formidable job and our whole community will be thankful to you.

  3. Micaela 9 months ago

    Aw, this was an extremely nice post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to make
    a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate
    a whole lot and don’t seem to get anything done.

  4. Jerrica 9 months ago

    I like the helpful information you provide in your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and check again here
    regularly. I am quite sure I’ll learn many new stuff right here!
    Best of luck for the next!

  5. Jinelle 9 months ago

    hello!,I really like your writing so much! share we communicate more about your
    post on AOL? I require an expert in this house to solve my problem.
    Maybe that’s you! Taking a look ahead to look you.

  6. Lanae 9 months ago

    It’s nearly impossible to find knowledgeable people in this
    particular subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  7. Hugh 9 months ago

    If you would like to take much from this piece of writing then you have to
    apply such techniques to your won website.

  8. Lavonne 9 months ago

    A person necessarily lend a hand to make severely posts I’d state.

    That is the first time I frequented your web page and so far?

    I surprised with the research you made to make this
    actual publish amazing. Wonderful task!

  9. Christy 9 months ago

    I could not resist commenting. Very well written!

  10. Catherine 9 months ago

    This is my first time pay a quick visit at here and i am really pleassant to read everthing at alone place.

  11. Octavio 9 months ago

    Quality articles or reviews is the important to attract the users
    to visit the web site, that’s what this site is providing.

  12. Amee 9 months ago

    Wow, fantastic weblog format! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you made blogging look easy. The full look of your site is magnificent, let alone the content material!

  13. Michale 9 months ago

    Wow, superb blog layout! How lengthy have you been blogging for?
    you make blogging glance easy. The overall look of your website is magnificent, let alone the content!

  14. Quentin 9 months ago

    Valuable information. Fortunate me I found your website by accident, and I’m stunned
    why this accident did not happened earlier!
    I bookmarked it.

  15. here 9 months ago

    In conclusion, on-line baccarat games are indeed fair and regulated.

  16. I blog quite often and I truly appreciate your content. Your article has truly peaked
    my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and
    keep checking for new information about once a week.

    I opted in for your Feed too.

  17. Have you ever considered about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is fundamental and everything. But imagine if you added some great visuals or
    videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content
    is excellent but with images and videos, this site could definitely be
    one of the most beneficial in its field. Great blog!

  18. Lola6666 6 months ago

    I WANNA SQUIRT ALL OVER YOUR FACE! TOYS, SOUND, DEEPTHROAT!

  19. Great web site! It looks extremely professional! Keep up the helpful work! estradiol ohne Rezept in Österreich bestellen

  20. Copper scrap smelting 5 months ago

    Copper scrap trading network Copper wire bar scrap procurement Metal waste repurposing and recycling
    Copper cable recycling statistics, Metal salvage yard services, Scrap copper theft prevention

    Scrap metal recovery and utilization, Scrap copper exporters, Copper cable scrap collection, Metal residue utilization

  21. Scrap metal reclamation and repurposing facility Ferrous material incident reporting Iron recovery yard services

    Ferrous material recycling awareness, Iron scrap residue, Emissions control in metal recycling

  22. Iron scrap reusing 4 months ago

    Scrap metal recycling center Ferrous material hauling Iron and steel waste management

    Ferrous metal exchange, Scrap iron reclaiming yard, Metal recovery depot

  23. I know this site offers quality depending content and
    other information, is there any other site which offers these stuff in quality?

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

Log in with your credentials

Forgot your details?