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Tennis Elbow Window   Week 22   Chris Johanson

Your name

Chris Johanson 

Your current location

Portland, Oregon

Your favorite pastime

Cooking and physical activities like walking, biking, surfing

Something you like

I like a good story.

Something you dislike 

Bombastic hate-speech way of talking

Your defining characteristic


What would someone close to you say your defining characteristic is

I couldn’t tell you 

Your favorite artist

Johanna Jackson, it’s why I married her. I really love the why that goes into the what that she does with art making. I really enjoy collaborating with her too. 

Favorite word or phrase

Lately, I find myself saying, "Peace Be With You," a lot. I guess it's kind of a trippy thing to say, but it succinctly shares good thoughts, let’s someone know that is what you are feeling and wishing.  


What aspect of your work is most important to you

That’s changed a lot over the years. Right now, I try and be very calm with it. I’ve painted thousands and thousands of hours at this point and it’s a very dear friend to me. We have a nice relationship that comes from many years of hanging out and finding out through trial and error how to have deep, enriching time. So I think, right now, the most important aspect is not knowing or caring about what is happening, or where it is going.

When I go out into my yard I know the seed is most likely doing it’s thing, with the sun and dirt and water and the insects doing their dance. That is a very interesting experience to be more or less right-angular with, because I want to experience all the vegetables and fruits. But I don’t want to be right-angular with art making. I want to be bent with art making. 


Who do you admire the most and why

That’s a tough question. Most people are admirable under the right circumstances. I admire the healthcare workers right now. I admire wellness-oriented thinkers and doers of all varieties. I admire the people with the flow to end violence on Black people and people of color–and I think it is the strangest turn of events that came out of the space created from the virus, that people had time to look and see things in a new light. 


Your worst habit

Probably splitting from my body in the present


The first thing you think of in the morning

I just have to get up and move, read the paper 


What have you always wanted to do and have not done

My personal needs are pretty mellow, if I have some spices and can go on a walk, I’m fine. 


Your best decision

The best decision was to quit working full-time. 


Your worst decision

There are always bad decisions to be made. Some people have to fuck up hard to know what a good time looks like. Because a good time can be so far away. You can oftentimes get back to the good times though. 


Your favorite street and why

I definitely love some streets. I used to love this route from upper Western Addition through the Haight all the way to the Mission. All downhill. Such a fun way to skate through San Francisco. That’s a nice memory from a long time ago. 


What made you become the person you are

It’s a cumulative effect of West Coast living. I just try and live a quiet life. Make a little art, garden, cook, give some money to organizations that are doing good. My friends do this art program in a school in the neighborhood I live in, and whenever this pandemic is over, or more understood, I will get into that. Between this virus and the horrible police violence it’s very obvious that doing more for the community is mandatory. I’ve done positive actions and community-oriented work though the years, but it definitely feels half-baked when I see my involvements in these illuminated times. 


Something that you treasure 

I treasure nature and that’s why I try to go out into it very seldom.  


What would the child you once were think of the adult you have become

The "child me" would think I seemed pretty cool and maybe a little sketchy. 


Your greatest fear

Too personal





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