Leanne Hanson has discovered that one of the most significant sources of happiness in life can be found by simply spending time in nature. Whether taking a leisurely stroll with her dog or going on an invigorating hike, Hanson finds joy and peace in the simple beauty of the world around her.
Hanson’s paintings reflect her love of the outdoors, with many of them featuring landscapes and flowers. She captures the serenity of nature in her work and, through her paintings, hopes to provide a moment of peace, joy, and enlightenment for those who view them.
While Hanson has painted various subjects, from town scenes to pet portraits to landscapes, she is most drawn to natural landscapes, which she views as a meditative escape from society. Flowers are another favorite subject, as she finds them incredibly joyful.
Hanson’s love of the outdoors began early. She grew up in Duluth, Minnesota, surrounded by the beautiful nature of the north shore of Lake Superior. She spent hours exploring and playing in the woods, streams, and the shoreline right out her back door.
In addition to time spent outdoors, art was a significant part of Hanson’s childhood. Her father was the head of the art department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. She spent a lot of time in the art department studios and the university’s art museum. Her home was filled with art. Her parents collected art created by the students and other professional artists and her father’s paintings.
Hanson gained a sense of adventure as her family traveled the country in the family motor home, often visiting artists. She developed a love for flowers and nature gardening with her mother.
It was almost inevitable that Hanson would begin creating art herself, and she has been drawing and painting from the earliest time she can remember.
While her love of art began early, various life experiences impelled Hanson to grow more serious about art. She made her first sales as a student, selling watercolor paintings at a high school fundraiser.
After graduating high school, Hanson attended the University of Minnesota for landscape design. The program provided her with a sense of how to view the relationship between man and landscape and how to share her vision of the world realistically in illustration. Though she wasn’t majoring in art, she took extensive art classes in studio arts.
After college, she and her father were featured in a show with their watercolors. The tremendously positive response to the show encouraged her to pursue her passion for art.
After graduating, Hanson juggled three jobs, worked in her family cleaning business with her husband, worked as a bartender, and raised two children. Despite extreme demands on her time from these activities, Hanson’s passion for creating art continued, and she set up a studio in her home in Minnesota.
Hanson’s creative process starts with photographs she has taken while enjoying an outdoor adventure. She chooses one or several to create a composition on canvas from these reference images. She sketches it out using pencil, then adds a layer of gesso before starting an underpainting with up to three different colors. After that, she begins painting the composition, often in layers, washes, and glazes.
Hanson’s work has evolved from photo-realistic transparent watercolors to oil paintings with strong colors and light, though she continues to employ watercolor techniques to create an airy effect.
Hanson has been an active member of various professional art organizations, including the Northeast Minneapolis Artist Association, Oil Painters of America, National Oil & Acrylic Painters Society, and Hopkins Center for the Arts. She has also shown her work with the A.M.F. Gallery in Minneapolis.
Hanson’s art has garnered recognition, including an honorable mention at the Spring Floral Art Exhibition Studio Pintura 2022, acceptance to show online with NOAPS, and second place in the water media category at the Minnesota State Fair in 2002. She was also the recipient of the best-in-show purchase prize at Art on the Lake in Excelsior, MN, in 2-dimensional art.
Hanson sees it as her mission as an artist to encourage people to find happiness and harmony in their lives to find relief from our hectic society. She is optimistic, and her paintings reflect her positive outlook on life. Hanson believes art is critical because it allows people to express their personalities and create a visual environment. She hopes her art followers enjoy the joyful tone she provokes in her paintings.
To view more of Leanne Hanson’s artwork, visit LeanneHansonart.com