Featured Artist Leanne Hanson

Filled with dazzling light and vivid color, these stunning watercolors and oils by artist Leanne Hanson capture the beauty and wonder of nature. Visit her website to learn more about her work.


Oil painting of a field of flowers at sunrise by Leanne Hanson

“Queen Ann’s Hill” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 24″


There have been many influences that have shaped me as an artist and why I create. For instance, my dad had a strong influence being that he was an artist and the head of the art department at the University of Minnesota Duluth. I loved drawing and painting as a young girl. I was always encouraged of course. Was it nurture or nature?


Watercolor painting of a rocky shore by Leanne Hanson

“North Shore Brighton Beach” Transparent Watercolor, 30″ x 22″


My love of the outdoors and nature was literally out my back door growing up in Duluth, Minnesota. I had my mother’s flower gardens, woods and streams and even the beautiful shores of Lake Superior to explore. That influenced what I liked to paint.


Oil painting of a sunset over the bay by Leanne Hanson

“Sunset Across the Bay” Oil on Canvas, 20″ x 16″


Although I took many art classes in school and college, I consider myself a self-taught artist. I decided to study landscape design in college instead of an art degree. It seemed a good idea at the time to combine my love of art, nature and gardens to make a good career. It never panned out, but it did add to my realistic style due to learning illustration (before computer aided design). That influenced the way I paint.


Watercolor painting of purple Clematis by Leanne Hanson

“Purple Clematis” Transparent Watercolor, 30″ x 18″


I’ve always been fascinated by the great masters and their ability to recreate what they saw realistically with drawing and painting. I pursued that style with my transparent watercolors, and love the technical challenges. I don’t use white or black paint in my transparent watercolors, but work in layers to build up the darks and leave the white of the paper for the white.


Oil painting of waterlilies by Leanne Hanson

“White Waterlilies IV” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 30″


For the middle part of the last thirty-plus years of being an artist, I was balancing the roles of mother, wife and business owner with my husband. I was involved with my art part-time with some success with commissions and several awards with my watercolor painting.


Oil painting of a road through a woods by Leanne Hanson

“The Cabin Road” Oil on Canvas, 16″ x 40″


I found a part of me was missing when I gave up painting for a while, so I explored what is most important to me as an artist. It got me back out exploring nature, my subject and compositions. I began to explore oil and acrylic painting and translating my outdoor experiences on canvas. That influenced my new way of painting.


Oil painting of a sunset over the water by Leanne Hanson

“Sunset Silhouette” Oil on Canvas, 48″ x 36″


My kids have started down their own paths now. I am excited about my art and have more time now. By understanding the culmination of past influences, I have a fresh new way of looking at my art and the “why” behind it.


Oil painting of the sun through trees by Leanne Hanson

“Looking Up From Purgatory Creek” Oil on Canvas, 24″ x 36″


I am an artist and will always be an artist. Getting out in nature with my treks and explorations recharges me and allows me to see the details in nature. Capturing those visual stories of my moments spent outdoors with an impressionistic flare in my paintings feeds my soul.


Artist Leanne Hanson at an exhibition of her paintings

Artist Leanne Hanson with her art


I want my art to draw people in to experience my painted moments by showing unique vistas, stunning light and beautiful colors.


Artist Leanne Hanson invites you to follow her on Facebook.


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  1. Great selection and Welcome back to what you love to do besides a wonderful family. I enjoyed your story and the artwork you have shown us all. Congrats

    Clyde D. Finlay

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