Susan Johnson

For Susan Johnson, painting is an act of discovery and the painting process enables her to closely examine what she finds fascinating. Primarily painting with watercolor on hot press, Susan is interested in creating compositions that depict familiar species from new perspectives. While the organisms themselves remain recognizably realistic, she minimizes the context of their environment and uses negative space, reflection and cast shadow to encourage viewers to take a closer look. As she indulges her own need to look and learn through her painting, Susan seeks to portray the familiar in ways that will encourage others to stop for a moment and stare along with her.

A career educator with a B.S. from Cornell and an M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education, Susan lives in Portland, ME and works at the Harvard Ed Portal, at Harvard University. She oversees educational outreach programs for 1st through 12th grades, and works with undergraduates, graduate students and faculty on teaching, and communication. She has taught secondary school biology and prior to that worked on several PBS science series. A fervent believer that art is essential to conveying information about the natural world, Susan enjoys engaging all ages in pursuits that connect art, science, health and the outdoors.

Selected Works