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Featured Artists

Carol Jessen


Carol Jessen has been an artist in San Francisco for 15 years. Her principal media are oil painting on canvas, pastel on paper and Japanese woodblock printing. Jessen’s approach to developing and designing an image reflects her interest in capturing the fleeting moods of cityscapes and landscapes as they are transformed by fog, rain, light and darkness. She has lived in Japan and traveled widely throughout Asia and Europe. Accumulating images through sketching, painting on site and photography, Carol uses the photograph as a frame of reference and a point of departure. She does not reproduce the images exactly. Her interpretations are highly subjective and in essence express her feelings about the tension between content and form.

The process of developing Jessen’s oil paintings begins with many small charcoal sketches, which are further, developed by painting small loose oil paintings or drawing full color pastels. She then sketches the full size image onto the canvas with charcoal. The painting evolves by building up many thin layers of paint to achieve vibrant colors finished with a layer of damar varnish. The pastels are made with many layers of the finest highly pigmented soft pastels drawn on an archival vegetable fiber paper which produces a rich paint quality. In many cases various handmade papers with unusual surfaces are used. These surface textures combined with the pastel impart a quality unique only to soft pastels.

Carol has exhibited locally and internationally. The Cleveland Museum of Art holds two of her woodblock prints in their permanent collection. She has demonstrated the woodblock technique at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco and at Stanford University.

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