Steven Thor Johanneson was born in Minnesota, and spent his formative years among the boreal forests, rivers and lakes, in the northern parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan, surrounding Lake Superior and the northern shores of Lake Michigan. It was here that he gained his love for Landscape and Nature.
As a young man Steven traveled to London, England where he attended the Heatherley School of Fine Art (founded in 1846 and the second oldest private art school in England) to improve what was then merely a hobby. Drawing the human figure and studying artistic anatomy almost exclusively, during the three and a half years of attendance, was time well spent, as these disciplines taught him how to Draw and how to Observe. This has served him well in the pursuit of his true endeavor of painting Landscape and Nature in Watercolours & Oils.
In 1981 the Artist had the opportunity to move to Cornwall in Southwest England, where he spent the next 23 years. In 1985, after five seasons working in the gift shop of the English novelist Howard Jacobson (Howard won the 2010 Booker Prize for Literature in England), the Artist was able to paint full-time and support himself solely through his painting. In 1994, he was included in the British “Who’s Who in Art” for the first time. Since 1987 he’s been regularly accepted into the exhibitions of the Royal Society of Marine Artists at the Mall Galleries in London, where in 1999 he received, the “St. Cuthbert’s Mill Award,” for the best work on paper in that year’s show. After first being elected as an Associate in 2001 Steven was, two years later in 2003, elected as a full member of the “Royal Society of Marine Artists,” thus allowing him the privilege of placing RSMA after his name. In 2008 Steven submitted a painting to both the Paint the Parks and Paint America Shows and was juried into their Top Mini 50 category. He also began painting Classic Miniatures and won 1st Place in the Landscape category of the 75th Annual International Exhibition of “The Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers Society, Washington, D.C.,” the first miniature show he had submitted to. Since then Steven has received several more awards for his Miniatures. Further success continues with his 3rd Place award in Issue #65 (Feb/Mar 2009) of the “International Artist” magazine’s Landscape Competition; Best of Show, in the Autumn 2009 Exhibition of the Watercolor Society of Oregon; his Watercolour, “The Evening Star over the Needles” (Cannon Beach, Oregon Coast), was included in “Splash 13: Alternative Approaches ,” an anthology of Watercolours; “Blustery Afternoon at Shore Acres State Park Looking Towards Simpson Reef” (Oregon Coast), an ink & wash drawing was included in “Strokes of Genius 5: Composition ,” an anthology of Drawing, and most recently another ink & wash Drawing from one of his Sketchbooks, “Morning … Mount Rainier from White River Canyon, Washington Cascades,” was included in “Strokes of Genius 6: Value – Lights & Darks, ” all three books published by North Light Books.
In 2004 Steven moved back to the USA, and much to his surprise, to Oregon. The first few years back were spent in reconnaissance of this new landscape, and by 2007 he began to show his paintings and drawings in the Pacific Northwest, as well as continuing to send work to his Galleries back in England. Steven continues to study Nature through painting her Land and Seascapes, attentive to her detail, her Flora and Fauna, her Seasons and the Hours of the Day, and her variations in Climate and Weather, through Form and Colour, and Light and Shade.
The great English painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851), the German Romantic Artist, Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840) and the French Artist Claude Lorrain, (1600-1682), & whose working life was mainly in Rome, are just three among the many Landscape Artists whom Steven admires.