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Karen kurka jensen
Hi, my name is Karen Kurka Jensen, I’m
a professional artist and this is my life’s work. I grew up in
Minnesota among forests, lakes, granite rocks and sparkling waters.
My childhood was idyllic. We were allowed to roam freely all day,
returning home only for meals. Our imaginations ran wild; we were
pioneers, space women (I have 4 sisters) exploring, animals living in
the wild, circus entertainers and on and on it went. Every day was a
new adventure. Those years expanded my vision and its where my
imagination was allowed to blossom and grow. I’ve always felt at
home outside. Even as a young child, I felt embraced and at the same
time, could fly far afield. I sketched. Everything. Those experiences
gave me my language of color, form and shape.
I just sit and look. I look at the majesty of the sky, all the
amazing drama, its moods, shapes and colors. Or I look at water, the
shifting surface, reflecting and revealing. One minute, still and
peaceful, showing me the secrets of its depths; the next, rippling
with the breath of an oncoming storm when all images are swept away.
I let these things be. I breathe. I dwell in this presence, quietly,
patiently. It is prayer. Prayer as the absence of wanting and asking.
Prayer as emptiness, prayer as silence, prayer as stillness. Its
where I’ve always felt closest to God. I receive the moment and
Muir wrote,“Going to the woods is going home”. My abstract
landscapes take the viewer on a similar journey – away, to mystical
worlds where its possible to get lost and feel at home in the same
breath. When I discovered the art of sumi-e, where the importance is
to connect spiritually to your subject, I found the language of my
soul. Clients who purchase my work say that they feel “something”
whether it’s beauty, thoughtfulness, or mindfulness speaking to
them. One of them wrote to me recently, “It’s like looking at a
Florida sky before a storm or a Colorado mountain stream churning
with energy. Your work is organic, filled with passion, spontaneity
and harmony; the balance and beauty shows itself.”
met my sumi-e teachers while performing at the Renaissance Fair in
Mpls, Minnesota, over 25 years ago. They had just returned from years
studying with masters of sumi-e in China. Sumi-e means “ink
painting” and is the ancient art of East Asian brush painting. The
first time I picked up a brush and watched as the ink spread across
the ricepaper I was mesmerized. I still am. I studied with my
teachers for 10 years before breaking away to develop a style of my
own. I still use the traditional materials; bamboo brushes, sumi-e
ink and various natural rice papers, to create my paintings. They’ve
been described as “inspirational, spiritual and lyrical”
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