James Jensen


As an artist there is a constant challenge to look at your world differently, closer, to deconstruct and then re-arrange images that are memorable. My work is a reflection of this simple premise. To back up a little, each painting contains some common themes that are quite primal as an artist and certainly as a viewer. Color. Texture. Motion.


Studying the world of imagery, and how I could make a mark artistically, started innocently enough – art schools and travel filled my curiosity and determination to express my own journey visually. In fact, some of very basic lessons learned right away are still a loud factor in my thoughts: the balance and weight of objects in a painting, the composition, and the priority of attention to each area of a work. When looking at one of my paintings you'll see these strong elements constantly in play, sometimes in aggravation, sometimes in harmony.


The paintings start out with a great sense of chaos – quick exciting strokes of paint, literally the joy of painting can be seen in this stage. But a chaotic painting is not where it ends . . . this is when the story starts. I need to invite a sense of depth and therein lies the decision-making process that takes over. My paintings contain a lot of elements, strong, subtle, freeform and architectural. In addition there are a list of ingredients that enter the work. To make all this make sense and not overwhelm, I must trust my sense of balance and editing in every stage. The final execution is a singular journey to each painting that is usually quite strong, yet up close there are delicate subtle areas that take the painting to layers of story.


I love red. It's hard not to grab for red paint each time I'm in the studio. So always up for a challenge, sometimes I indulge this passion, and other times banish the color altogether. This illustrates but just one daily challenge a thinking artist should embrace: their expertise versus the unknown.


My training was very classic and traditional, drawing and painting. Here even an abstract contemporary artist learns the limitations and abilities of paint, structure, composition. I have found it invaluable to have a classic education in painting...even today, amidst all of the electricity of my paintings, they are still of an old master color palette which has proven to invite the viewer emotionally, compelling and effortless.