Painting, printmaking, and drawing have been cornerstones of Jill Jensen’s work. She has used them separately to create finished works of art, and since 1998 she has combined them in her fiber-based work. An exhibit of her latest works has just opened at the Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center in Clifton Forge, Va and will run through June 16.2023.
“My work combines bold graphic images and intense color. Woodcut and linocut prints provide me with the opportunity to create images with sharp contours and positive and negative spaces. I enjoy the process of designing, carving, and printing plates on both paper and fabric. Work on fabric is printed, paint is added for color and then I add stitching for texture and delineation of the imagery.”
Daily drawing exercises, journaling, and miniature stitched/quilted pieces are a part of her well-disciplined habits. Her studio practice includes designing images and carving the designs into either wood or linoleum to create her printing plates. These images are printed on fabric and stitched for structure and texture. The scale of Jensen’s work varies greatly, from small (4” x 4”) to large (40” x 72”) to very large (7’ x 14’). In addition to printmaking, paint is used for color. Some works incorporate cyanotype photograms, contact botanical printing (eco-printing) and indigo dyeing. Any or all techniques may all be a part of a finished piece.
Jensen’s formal education includes a degree in chemistry and a master’s degree in engineering, but her passion is in creating visual art. “Training in the sciences may seem an odd path to becoming an artist but I would disagree. Both artists and scientists/engineers need to be keen observers of the world around them. Both are problem solvers. Experimentation is crucial to finding creative solutions in art and science.”
“Inspiration comes from many sources. Daily walks are an opportunity to observe both the natural and man-made world in varying seasons and lighting conditions. Prayers and literary sources like poetry, myths and stories all find their way into my psyche and then are transformed into physical pieces of art.”
Jensen’s work has been included in regional, national, and international exhibitions and twenty-one one-person shows. A full resume will be posted in the gallery. She has been the focus of eighteen Artist in Education school residencies around the Commonwealth. Four of those took place here in the Alleghany Highlands over several years. During the AHACC residencies, she worked with each of our high schools for five days a semester, helping teachers create a printmaking unit as the students learned about and created different types of intaglio printmaking. As a part of the residency, Jensen’s work was exhibited along with the students in the Annual High School Art Student art shows at the Center. The AIE residency program is sponsored through a grant from the Virginia Commissions for the Arts.
Jensen has been a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in both their locations in Virginia and in France. Among other institutions that include Jill Jensen’s work are the Taubman Museum of Art, The San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, Snidow Chapel in Lynchburg, and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. You can see more of her work at www.jill jensenart.com
Jill Jensen’s exhibit “Natural Visions” will run through Friday, June 16, 2023. Admission to the Center is free of charge. The Alleghany Highlands Arts and Crafts Center, located at 439 Ridgeway Street, Clifton Forge, VA, is supported by its members, contributors, the Town of Clifton Forge, the City of Covington, the County of Alleghany, The Alleghany Foundation, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts.