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Joyce K. Jensen

“I’m fascinated by the beauty in everyday objects, and love the versatility and translucence of watercolors.”

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 at her high school, opportunities for women in the arts were few when she was young. Over the years, her youthful dream of becoming an 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 there was always something 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,” Joyce 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.

One of her proudest moments as an artist happened at the Indiana State Fair. Joyce’s work was displayed in the annual Professional Exhibition over a painting by renowned Hoosier realist Harry Davis. “In my wildest dreams, I couldn’t have imagined I would be in a show with an artist I admired so much.”

Her work has gained recognition across the state and nationally, and she is thrilled to be associated with the creative community of the Indiana Artisan program. “Indiana Artisan represents the best of the best in Indiana. The program is a positive way to show how the arts can be a wonderful enrichment in all our lives,” Joyce says.

Joyce’s paintings have been accepted in more than 85 juried exhibitions, including the annual shows of the American Watercolor Society, the International Guild of Realism, and Allied Artists of America, and have received nearly 40 awards. Publications include having work accepted in two “Splash” collections from North Light Books; having a Spotlight feature in The Artist’s Magazine; and having an 8-page feature article in International Artist magazine.