I tell stories. Anything from falling in love to the horrors of war. If I stumble upon it, and it matters …. I just might turn it into a piece.

I was raised on J.C. Penney, Sears, and just two channels on the television. My street was named Sunny Lane. Really. My sister was first runner-up in the Miss Lakeside contest, and I was not.

I taught middle school art and learned more from my pre-teen students than I’ve learned anywhere else. I married someone I admired. I buried a baby son as I carried another inside me. Both my parents are gone, yet they let me keep the best of them with me, and I use it every single day.

My material of choice is clay. Clay takes form, receives impression, and accepts color with ease. Expressively, clay is fragile … as is my subject matter.


Johanna Hansen was born in Lakeside, California, and has lived there most of her life. She studied painting and printmaking at San Diego State University, although she has worked primarily in clay and mixed media. She began her career as an art teacher and is now a full-time artist.

Johanna’s ideas come from the “wealth of subject matter in the everyday.” She confronts topics of all kind with whimsy, humor and satire. She sees her work as “little dialogues with my audience … more like vignettes or ditties or haiku than epics.”

Johanna lives with her husband, Don Whisman, and their son, Elden.


Bachelor of Arts Degree in Art, 1979

Teaching Credentials in Art and English, 1980

San Diego State University

San Diego, CA

Teaching Experience

1981 to Present: Private Classes and Workshops

1986-1993: Teacher of Art, Tierra del sol Middle School, Lakeside, CA

1985-1986: Lecturer of Art, San Diego State University, Imperial Valley Campus, Calexico, CA

1981-1986: Teacher of Art and English, Wilson Middle School, El Centro, CA



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