About the Artist
Jean Jensen grew up in a small town in rural western Nebraska. Inspired by a mother who encouraged art and a wider worldview, Jean couldn’t wait to move away from Garden County. Jean first attended the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, but soon transferred to the University of Illinois at Chicago, where her love of art and the Impressionists grew during many visits to the Chicago Art Institute. Determined to see the world, she traveled through Europe and visited many of the world’s best art museums, worked on an anthropological dig in Israel, and then moved to Kenya. There, she earned her master’s in sociology at the University of Nairobi. Those years overseas broadened Jean’s perspective as she witnessed the breadth of human cultures. But even while travelling the African savannas, climbing Kilimanjaro and visiting the Serengeti, Jean recalled her love of the Nebraska prairies.
Traveling allowed Jean to see Western Nebraska with a new perspective and to see the natural, largely untouched beauty of her childhood home. Returning to Nebraska, she began her 35-year career as an artist. Mostly, Jean paints local subjects, combining her passion for the region with the aliveness and energy that she experienced in Kenya. She is skilled in watercolor, pastel and oil, using the raw emotive power of brilliant colors to capture the essence of flowers, wildlife, people and landscapes.
Jean attended the Autumn Art Workshop for twenty-eight years. She taught some middle and high school art classes and community workshops. She lives near Lewellen, where she and her two brothers are the exhibiting artists and owners of the Most Unlikely Place gallery and café. One of her projects was the restoration of an art deco gas station and the State Theater buildings in Lewellen. Jean’s work can be seen at The Most Unlikely Place Gallery and at www.jeanjensenart.com. For more on the Gallery see www.themostunlikelyplace.com
I remember the thrill in second grade of having my fellow students and the 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 to me as a child. I still love creating an image and getting a reaction from the viewer, whether family, friend or someone new to my art. Living in Chicago, I became enamored with the Impressionists during many visits to the Chicago Art Institute. Like the Impressionists, I hope to capture the energy of my subjects, rather than striving for a literal representation. I’ve always loved color, and over the years—and through guidance from several instructors—I developed a much better understanding of color theory and began using stronger colors. I want to enhance the boldness of what I see, to capture a little of the magic in my subjects—their essence or spirit.
After travelling around the world I found that I love living in rural western Nebraska on our sixty acres of wild land with a little creek and lots of wildlife, taking daily walks with my husband and dog. I love to capture the endless beauty of my flower beds and the natural world around me through painting. I enjoy sharing my art work and having my artwork in homes and businesses around the country.
Life on the Creek
"Evening in Ash Hollow - 1847" Oil, 24" x 48" commissioned by Friends of Ash Hollow for Sesquicentennial Event at Ash Hollow State Historical Park. Prints available.
Currently showing at:
Show Schedule - Guest Artist
Most Unlikely Place, Lewellen Current
Crane Trust, Alma Current
Meadowlark Gallery, Grant May 6 - May 28, 2022
Carnegie Art Center, Alliance Feb. 12 - Mar. 19, 2022
Western Ne Art Center, Scottsbluff August 2018
Minden Opera House, Minden December 2018