"Faces fascinate me.
I am especially drawn to the qualities that make an individual
unique--the kind of beauty that you cannot invent. In particular,
I look for nurturing personalities. Once I'm captivated by how
a person carries themselves or how a child gestures, I am driven
to meet the challenge of not only capturing a likeness on canvas
but more importantly, breathing life into that likeness."
Johanna Harmon has been a student
of life since her childhood in Arizona. To express her feelings
about what she saw back then, she started drawing at age 7. Observations
and emotions continue to be at the core of her paintings. Not
only does she document the world around her, she also expresses
her personal response to the glory of creation, whether exemplified
by a dancer's discipline and grace or by a little girls indulgence
in the colors and fragrances of a secret garden.
Bringing to life a multi-dimensional
person on a two-dimensional canvas requires mastery of the formal
aspects of art. Harmon's skills are both accurate and beautiful.
Drawing has always been her passion, and for the past decade,
she has succeeded in turning the power of color, light and shadow
into effective tools that animate the stories on her canvas.
Her sophisticated brushwork adds movement and energy to the surfaces
of her paintings, especially the luscious, impastoed passages
of oil pigments that contrast against thinner, more subtle applications.
As much as Harmon paints for
the public, she also admits that for her, painting is a path
of self-discovery. "To paint is to honor who I am, one brushstroke
at a time," she says. Although she works very methodically,
at some point, Harmon lets intuition reign. When that happens,
she is at one with the canvas, which takes over, bringing the
painter to the role of the observer once again.
In viewing Harmon's paintings,
one senses the reverence and compassion that first drew Harmon
to the person. Her paintings record unique and individual moments
in life, those fleeting seconds that add up to the magnificent,
complex symphony we call life.Susan Hallsten McGarry