Painting Technique Spoke to Artist

By Voight, Sandye | Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque), November 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Painting Technique Spoke to Artist


Voight, Sandye, Telegraph - Herald (Dubuque)


if you go Artist: Karen Kurka Jensen, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, originally from Minnesota Exhibition: "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," ink brush paints in the Japanese style of sumi-e. Times/ dates: Member preview reception 5:30-7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22; exhibition available through March 2; regular museum hours 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 1-4 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Gallery talk time/ date: 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 23 Site: The Dubuque Museum of Art's Kris Mozena McNamer Gallery, 701 Locust St. Cost: The gallery talk is free to the public. The preview is free for members. Anyone who is not a member but would like to attend the preview can sign up for a membership at the door. Individual membership is $40. Daily admission is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for students, free for those 18 and younger every day, and free to all on Thursdays, thanks to Prudential Financial.A dance major in college, Karen Kurka Jensen said she stumbled onto the Asian art of sumi-e (pronounced "soo-mee-ay") at an art fair in Minneapolis.

"I'd never seen anything like this," she said. "I wanted to learn more. They invited me to a workshop. The minute I touched brush loaded with ink to paper, I knew this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life."

That was 25 years ago - including 10 years of study with the women she met at that art fair.

Jensen's exhibition, "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made," is on display at the Dubuque Museum of Art through March 2.

Sumi-e, which is related to calligraphy, is characterized by an economy of strokes and tonal variations. American-style sumi-e uses traditional inks, brushes and tissue-thin papers in bold new ways.

In a phone interview from her home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Jensen said that she was in her 30s when she discovered the 5,000-year-old art and was afraid she was too old to become a professional artist. …

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