Watercolor Society of Alabama

Promoting and Supporting Watermedia Since 1939

Johanna Hanks

           Johanna was not born with a paint brush in her hand. She didn’t feel the creative music to recapture sights until later in life, and once she got started there was no stopping her.
Actually she was into theater life, but while convalescing from an illness her artistically inclined brother and daughters insisted she turn to the canvas. “I decided to try painting
as a way to keep my sanity.” When I started I couldn’t draw a straight line” but there must be something inside me because when I started it took me over. You have to be
different to be a painter-though whose definition of normal depends on what side of the fence you are on.  I do various exhibits through the year, but I try to do most of then during the spring and summer. I have been involved in exhibits solo shows, juried competition and received awards all over the country.  Viewers mostly will see watercolor of various subjects. I use a variety of mediums including pastels; acrylic, oils and printmaking, When asked what medium I favor.  My answer “the one I am working at the time I am painting. I try not to use photographs,  and when I do I use them as reference to bring back the mood I first got when I took the photo, but I never copy them. Often when the painting is done it does not look like the photo just the mood. I do not believe you paint the same with different subjects because get different feelings. I do not get the same emotion when painting a landscape you would get doing a still life or person.  .My husband and I traveled extensively because of his job, and that is why I am able to paint different parts of the country. I earned my bachelor’s degree in art study and design at Colorado State. My husband and I retired in Topeka to be close to family.  When I am not painting I teach art. I am always doing something – reading, dabbing,
thinking of works I plan to do, things I see and have seen. My goal as an artist is to recapture the moment when people look at one of my paintings and their own relationship should form reminding them of something. I am a native of New York City. I ventured east to continue my art study.  When last in N.Y. my husband and I visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art just spending time contemplating the works of 19th century masters. I was astonished as always. Just think they made their own paints from berries, flowers and leaves. They didn’t have the tricks of the trade or shortcuts we have. In some ways they practically invented painting for us. I wonder what the 20th century works will leave behind.

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Email to:  hanksmaryjo1@att.met