Five questions for Su Johnson

By Beth A. Birmingham | Apr 25, 2014
Courtesy of: Su Johnson Artist and teacher Su Johnson poses with a couple of her paintings.

Thomaston — If you have been or have had a student in the area schools within the past 25 years, chances are you have run into Su Johnson.

Johnson has been the art teacher in Rockland and Thomaston schools for that span of time. She started at Rockland's Junior High School, then went to Georges Valley High School for 22 years before returning to Rockland's Oceanside East for two more years. Now Johnson can be found at Thomaston Grammar, Rockland District Middle, and Owls Head Central schools.

"I've had four 'first years'," said Johnson, noting "they are always the hardest."

Not only does Johnson teach art in many different mediums, she is an artist herself — with her own gallery in Farmington where she is originally from. She is married to fellow artist Richard Johnson.

She took time during a free period April 18 to answer these five questions:

How did you get started in art?

"My aunt Janet would let me use her brushes and supplies. I sold my painted panels for $5 in Spruce Head when I was 8."

What is your favorite medium to work in?

"I am a watercolor artist, but I recently adapted to water mixable oils. They're easier to clean up."

Who is your favorite artist?

"Fitz Hugh Lane. He was an artist in the 1800s. I saw a piece of his work at the Farnsworth one time and it has stayed with me forever."

Do you have a favorite gallery?

"The Washburn Johnson Gallery in Farmington. It is a gallery my aunt, Richard and I have."

What do you do for relaxation?

"Painting IS my relaxation. It makes me use my other senses."

If you have a candidate for "Five Questions" contact Beth A Birmingham at


Comments (5)
Posted by: Eric Thurston | Apr 26, 2014 21:40

Francis - think Bob Morrill, coach, math teacher. You'll be on the right track. That's the right family.

Posted by: Lillias Martin | Apr 26, 2014 13:07

We are so lucky to have Su at Thomaston Grammar School. She is a wonderful colleague and a wonderful teacher.

Sara Gilfenbaum

Posted by: Susan Watts | Apr 26, 2014 11:18

It is amazing how Su can get such beautiful art work from all of her students. She is an amazing teacher who is always willing to go the extra mile for the students and staff. We are blessed to have her in our schools.


Posted by: Lynn Snow | Apr 25, 2014 16:21

Thomaston Grammar School is blessed with Su as our art teacher!  Terrific person, talented teacher!

Lynn Snow

Posted by: Francis Mazzeo, Jr. | Apr 25, 2014 15:46

Must be a different Su Johnson. The one I know grew up in Rockland with her brothers and sisters. There's even a ball field named after her dad.

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