Linda Johanson is an artist and watercolor painter living in Hartland. She teaches art and science at the Waldorf School in Quechee.
VS: What kind of background do you have?
LJ: I was trained under a school for watercolor called the Beppe Assenza School, so I trained with a painter called Lasse Legind. That was in Denmark.
More recently I did kind of a five year apprenticeship and training with an artist in New York. Her name is Laura Summer and she was also trained in the same school of painting that I was — it’s a European school — and she has brought a contemporary American interpretation of that classic training we got, so I feel that I’m really inspired by Laura Summer’s work.
VS: What subjects do you normally paint?
LJ: I mostly try to paint out of landscapes. With Laura, what I learned that often an artist is working on a question, and that question can sort of drive you for your whole life. My question is the nature of light, and so the interplay and the nature of the playfulness of the light is kind of what informs my work. It’s often light and landscapes, but it also can be light in the human form.
VS: Where does the inspiration for the different landscapes come from?
LJ: I try to go for daily walks and I feel that when I go for walks around Hartland — I live on a really beautiful road on Rice Road and there’s some really gorgeous old maple trees, but there’s one spot I try to go to everyday. At the top of Rice Road if you look down on Bashon Brook Farm, it’s kind of an amazing long view. So I go to certain spots everyday and work with how the light changes on those spots.
VS: Where have your works been seen?
LJ: I always managed to get my paintings into the art shows that Karl Kemnitzer does so every year that Karl has been doing the different named exhibits in the Hartland Public Library in different places I always have something up there. There have been about four shows, and they’ve been in the library. Usually we have a theme — he’s the person that gave me my first sort of introduction to the local Hartland art scene. Before that, my shows were in Denmark in European settings, and I’ve also shown a lot in Wisconsin where I used to live.
VS: You have a felt illustration here, what’s the story behind that?
LJ: There’s this great Danish author her name is Cecil Bødker. She so prolific, she wrote children’s books and she also did interpretations of the Bible, and she wrote all kinds of things starting in the 1930s and ‘40s. She’s got this amazing character called Silas, who is quite magical. Nobody has been able to read these books because they haven’t been translated, so I’ve kind of devoted my extra free time to translating all of her books. So that felted picture is an illustration for one of the translations that I’ve done of one of my favorite chapters of one of her children’s books.