Karen Kurka Jensen

“As an artist who specializes in sumi-e art, I am deeply passionate about exploring the relationship between art and spirituality. My artwork is a reflection of my innermost thoughts, feelings, and beliefs, and is intended to serve as a vehicle for self-expression, meditation, and contemplation.”


Celestial 1 - Ink & watercolor on rice paper 23 x 33 in - $3,000

Karen Kurka Jensen, an accomplished sumi-e artist, channels her profound connection to nature through mystical landscapes and abstract imagery. Originally from Minnesota, her career path shifted after a life-altering car accident redirected her from a planned library career. Struggling with chronic pain and seeking alternative healing, she discovered traditional Chinese medicine, which not only healed her but also introduced her to the rich cultural heritage of China.

This serendipitous encounter sparked Jensen's passion for sumi-e, a traditional East Asian ink wash painting technique. She embarked on a journey of artistic exploration under the guidance of American sumi-e masters Susan Frame and Susan Christie, who had studied under prominent teachers in China and Japan. Frame and Christie not only became Jensen's mentors but also close friends, nurturing her development in this ancient art form.

Continuing her artistic growth, Jensen has expanded her knowledge through workshops with renowned artists like Cheng Khee Chee and Lok Tok. Additionally, she pursues independent research, drawing insights from respected sumi-e practitioners such as Diana Kan and Gao Xingjian.

Karen Kurka Jensen's artistic evolution embodies a fusion of personal healing, cultural exploration, and mastery of sumi-e techniques. Her artworks resonate with a spiritual depth and reverence for nature, reflecting her ongoing dedication to this traditional yet ever-evolving art form.

Walkabout in Timberlakes 5 - Ink & watercolor on rice paper 34 x 24 in - Sold
Stars Hollow - Ink & watercolor on rice paper 34 x 24 in - $3,500
River of Dreams 1 - Ink & watercolor on rice paper 63 x 36 in - Sold
May This be a Morning of Innocent Beginning - Ink & watercolor on rice paper 63 x 36 in - $8,500

This review was published by Circle Foundation for the Arts © CFA Press ∙ Images are courtesy of the artist

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