Jean Jensen grew up in Lewellen and Oshkosh, Nebraska. Inspired by a mother who encouraged art and with a wider sense of the world, Jean attended the University of Nebraska and then moved to Chicago where her love of art and the Impressionists grew during many visits to the Chicago Art Institute while earning her degree in anthropology. Determined to see the world she traveled through Europe, worked on a dig in Israel and then moved to Kenya.
Jean returned to Western Nebraska with a new perspective and rekindled her love of the natural beauty of this largely untouched area. She loves the raw emotive power of brilliant colors. For the past thirty-five years she has engaged in self-study and workshops, developing her skills in watercolor, pastel and oil as she captures the essence of flowers, people and local landscapes.
Jean has attended the Autumn Art Workshop for twenty five years and is currently on the board. She lives near Lewellen where she and her two brothers are the exhibiting artists and owners of the Most Unlikely Place gallery and café. Jean’s dream is to turn Lewellen into the Taos of Nebraska.
I remember the thrill in second grade of having my fellow students and teacher impressed that I could draw a grape vine and leaves! The idea that I could convey an image and make people happy was very exciting. Living in Chicago, I became enamored with the Impressionists during many visits to the Chicago Art Institute. I hope to catch a bit of the energy of my subjects and be a little less representational. When I started painting thirty some years ago, I painted with a very limited color palette, but I loved the effect of color. Several instructors and many lessons later, I felt that I had a much better understanding of color theory and have been using strong colors since. I want to enhance the boldness of what I see, to capture a little of the magic or soul in my subjects. After travelling around the world, I found that I love living in rural western Nebraska on our acres of wild land with a little creek and lots of wildlife. I love to capture the endless beauty of my flower beds and the natural world around me through painting – watercolor and oil.
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