Johanna is an artist, born and raised in small town Minnesota. She grew up close to nature in a creative community. Her passions are family, nature, health, peace, art and culture. In 1998 she was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and used a combination of conventional and alternative health to fully recover. As part of her recovery she took a Qi Gong class where she was first introduced to the idea of Qi (chee) and the use of Qi in painting. The idea in Eastern Philosophy is that the artist is a vessel for Qi allowing Qi to move through the brush into the artwork. In that practice she further learned how artwork holds the Qi in the form of a message. This idea took her from a path for optimal health to understanding the artist as vessel. It was not just about being healthy, but being able to allow Qi to move through the painting process, almost artist as athlete. She was intrigued and curios if the idea that a message could be held in the energy of a painting was real, or even effective. Would it be possible to create a painting with Qi that gave the viewer a healing experience?
Johanna attended the San Francisco Art Institute for her BFA. Her intention as an artist lead her to study abroad in China with their Chinese Landscape Masters. Her direct experience with eastern artists, culture and philosophy further influenced her desire to create art with the intention of representing Qi and positive messaging. She sought to create a peaceful yet energizing experience for the viewer and began to experiment with both process and form. Beyond process and form she continued seeking on her path for health and wellness, this became a launching point to go deeper into understanding the nature of the content, of the conversations of health, peace, and joy. She continued in her study of Qi Gong, Health and Wellness.
As she followed that thread, she stayed true to her curiosity, wish or hope for her viewer. Working in advertising helped her hone her skills in content development and messaging, which she hoped would help her more effectively support people in their lives. She is also the daughter of an attorney for Health Freedom and a larger than life family of humanitarians and peace activists. These were all influences that shaped her work as developed the conversation grid of 210 topics. For almost three years she collected ideas on a 20ft x 8ft wall in her painting studio on index cards, post it notes, envelopes, paper bag scraps, and napkins for over three years. Originally meant as a matrix of information to create a body of paintings, she soon realized that visual representation was too limiting. This is when the project started to take on it’s own form eventually becoming an interactive tool to hold multidimensional conversations. The Golden Key Communication Grid. A friend that visited her studio looked at the project in it’s early stages, hung up on a wall and said, “It’s an abbreviated system of the universe!”
In the creation of The Golden Key she was able to provide the experience she wanted to share in a painting, but through an interactive tool that gave the user a deeply personal experience of connecting with their higher self/vital fource/ inner truth. She now uses The Golden Key to help others find answers about their life and continues to explore the possibility of it translating into the philosophical content matrix for her future visual work.
She still works in advertising to support her family, and slowly builds her creative projects in the background with the help and support from her loved ones.