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(Image courtesy of Christina Jensen).
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Artist of the Week: Christina Jensen

Seattle might be notorious for niche coffee shops and scenic waterways, but locals know it's also home to an array of people who love to create. This city is chock-full of artists who we love to feature weekly on Seattle Refined! If you have a local artist in mind that you would like to see featured, let us know at gmwynkoop@sbgtv.com. And if you're wondering just what constitutes art, that's the beauty of it; it's up to you!

Seattle Refined: How long have you been creating? Do you work with other mediums?
I have been painting most of my life. I am loving oil pastels right now but watercolor and acrylic are also great. I love color and the oil pastels seem to really convey that.

Can you tell us about your artistic process and how the different stages work into it?
Starting with a wooden panel that is painted black, oil pastels are applied in layers. The beauty of this medium is you can blend, smear, reapply, keep adding layers. If unsure about when the piece is 'done', I might let it have some time to sit (I call this hang time) and add something more to it in a few days. The finish is a fixative on the piece followed by clear varnish.

Tell us about where your inspiration for your art come from?
Inspiration comes from so many places such as day trips to museums and galleries, parks, weeding the garden, watching other artists, drawing daily for no apparent reason. Color is visual emotion being communicated so maybe I am trying to say something through the piece or perhaps inspire others.

Do you have a specific “beat” you like best – nature, food, profiles etc?
No specific theme really, what happens is an idea shows up in my minds eye and I try and translate that onto the panel. A bit organic. Oil pastels work well for landscapes and make them look dreamy, flowers look expressive. I think it's because pastels leave 'brushstrokes' that give the piece shape and texture.

Do you have one piece of art that means more to you, or is extremely special to you?
Yes there are a few. One is a piece named CA Superbloom which is about the wildflower superbloom in California this past spring. It has one charred tree surrounded by all of this beautiful colorful growth. Ironically I created it just before the Notre Dame Cathedrale fire in Paris, so I thought about how that too will 're-bloom'. Art and reality mix spontaneously.

What experiences in your life have affected your art the most?
Gosh, I think like most people, what affects us is cumulative. My art is the total addition of joy, heartache, love, risk, observation and so on, depending on the moment.

If we want to see more of your work where should we go to find?
I will be with a group of wonderful artists at the Seattle Center Armory Show July 22 - August 4. I can be found on Instagram at @artbrushstrokes.

What is next for you? Anything you’re working on right now that you’re really excited about?
I am imagining a piece at the moment that will be fun and colorful.

Lastly, how do you take your coffee? We ask everyone!
Oh definitely coffee with cream.

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