Today, Joyce K. Jensen’s award-winning watercolors are recognized for their unique style, and for the depth and brilliance of their colors. It wasn’t always that way.
Although she took nearly every art class in high school, opportunities for women in the arts were few when she was young. Over the years, her youthful dream of becoming a painter gradually faded away.
Like many women of her generation, she focused on raising her children, supporting her husband’s career, and volunteering at church and elsewhere. Eventually she went back to college as a returning adult student, finished her degree, and spent a decade as a freelance writer, publishing both nonfiction and fiction. The writing offered a fulfilling creative outlet, yet she still felt something was missing.
“When I was 55,” Joyce says, “three friends experienced catastrophic illnesses. It was a moment to reassess my own life. I thought, ‘You’ve always dreamed of painting. If you are going to paint, you only have today. What have you got to lose?’”
She bought supplies, brought a stack of how-to books home from the library, and spent whatever moments she could spare experimenting, practicing and learning. Naively, she entered an early painting in a national show, and was accepted. From that point on, she knew this would be more than a hobby.
Joyce’s style is realistic, often hyper-realistic, creating a reality that can be a bit brighter, sharper and more colorful than life.
“I’m fascinated by the beauty in everyday objects, and love the versatility and translucence of watercolors,” she says.
She most often works in still life because it allows endless possibilities for composition. Joyce achieves her signature rich, luminous colors through layering and glazing, often applying a dozen or more careful glazes to a single object.
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