The Earth is alive with the creative expression of the life forces of the universe. My work and calling as an artist has been to translate this expression into painting.
Each painting is a real life place that I have felt some connection to, and most are referenced from my own travels and time spent being in these landscapes. Many of these places I feel profoundly connected to and are deeply interwoven into the story of who I am and how I came to be a landscape artist. Mt. Shasta and the surrounding beauty of rural Northern California where I grew up are such places. As a young child, I felt the power of this connection to nature and when I needed escape from a chaotic home, I looked to these places to feel seen, understood, held, and safe.
I see myself as a temporary visitor; only here for the blink of an eye in geologic time. But all the same, this is an endlessly fascinating and intricate universe we are a part of, and I believe we each can have a profound impact on those around us and the ground beneath our feet. My wish is for my work to breathe life and energy into the parts of us that know a deep connection to the Earth, even if these parts have been mostly dormant. I didn’t have the words for it at the time, but feeling this connection helped protect and keep my creative spirit intact, and later helped me begin to heal. Whether these parts already resonate or are awakened from dormancy doesn’t matter – I only hope you feel this connection and it enriches your spirit.
Connection to place and to ourselves matters more than ever. Many, many people have suffered from their ancestral connection to the Earth being severed or harmed along with their culture. This birthright must be restored, especially for Indigenous peoples who have lived in connection with the land for centuries and steward most of the Earth’s biodiversity, but also for all of us who desire to live on a habitable planet. I join my hope with the hope of many that through restoring and realizing our deep interconnectedness to the Earth and each other, we can ensure that the future holds a beautiful and abundant life for all beings.
Jessica Johnson is a contemporary landscape painter born in San Francisco and raised in rural Northern California. Passionate about the outdoors since her earliest backpacking trip at 3 years old, Jessica works to capture and communicate the inspiring beauty of the landscapes that surround her home and permeate her adventures. She currently resides in Southern Oregon on Shasta, Takelma, and Latgawa lands.