Johanna Finnegan-Topitzer


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From traveling to unique landscapes to walks around my backyard, I am constantly inspired by the life around me. My work focuses on the wildlife and plants of my native New England. Most of the life I choose to represent comes from the woods, mountains, and seaside of the Northeast. My creative process involves exploring in nature and taking reference photos. I then come back to my studio and start with simple sketches. I paint my animals with gouache which allows me to get subtle details. I use cut colored paper to create plants and landscape elements and define their details with pen. All these components are made separately and then adhered to a solid color background. I hope my art will inspire others to appreciate and act to save our amazingly biodiverse world.

My art has developed and grown since I was a kid. I took formal classes at the University of New Hampshire. I went on to receive a Master's degree in Folklore from University College Cork in Ireland. I studied the fine craft of bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston. I have used my artistic skill to create educational materials and exhibits in many of my "day jobs". At this point in my career, I am focused on illustration for stationery products, surface design, and children's books.
I have been the Artist-in-Residence at the Grand Canyon and Acadia National Parks and received Artist Fellowships from the Massachusetts Cultural Council and Somerville Arts Council.

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