The US American artist Carol Jessen belongs to the younger generation of artists who studied the traditional technique of making woodblock prints in Japan. Moreover she studied at the famous studio of the Japanese master printmaker Toshi Yoshida.
The art dealer Michael Verne wrote about Carol Jessen in his book "Japan through the Eyes of Nine American Artists":
"I was looking for an artist who could capture the feeling of the old Japanese landscape woodblock prints when I received my first shipment of Carol Jessen's work. At the time, several of the other artists I represented had moved away from traditional imagery. Carol did all her own carving and printing, and her work was as appealing to me as the Japanese prints from the hineteenth century and 1920s and '30s. Her understanding of the use of light and shadow was immediately apparent."
The following text was taken by courtesy of Carol Jessen from her web site. Copyright for text and images is held by Ms. Carol Jessen.
"I have worked as an artist in San Francisco for 15 years. My principal mediums are oil painting, pastel and Japanese woodblock printing. My approach to developing and designing an image reflects my interest in capturing the fleeting moods of cityscapes and landscapes as they are transformed by fog, rain, light and darkness."
"I have lived in Japan and traveled widely throughout Asia and Europe, accumulating images through sketching and painting on site and through photography. I use the photograph as a frame of reference and a point of departure. I do not reproduce the image exactly since the image I produce is highly subjective and in essence is expressing my feelings about the tension between content and form."
"The process of developing my oil paintings begins with many small charcoal sketches which are further developed by painting small loose oil paintings or drawing full color pastels. I then sketch the full size image to the canvas with charcoal. The painting evolves by building up many thin layers of paint to achieve vibrant colors finished with a layer of damar varnish. The pastels are made with many layers of the finest highly pigmented soft pastels drawn on an archival vegetable fiber paper which evokes a rich paint quality.In many cases various hand made papers with unusual surfaces are used. These surface textures combined with the pastel impart a quality unique only to soft pastels."
"I was commissioned to design and paint the 1994 Sausalito Art Festival Poster which was reprinted this year after being sold out. I have attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco and studied privately with William Lansberg (design), Toshi Yoshida (woodblock printing in Japan). I am self-taught in techniques of pastel and oil painting. My work is exhibited and collected both locally ad internationally. The Cleveland Museum of Art holds two of my woodblock prints in their permanent collection. For the past three years I have been teaching pastel, and lecturing/demonstrating woodblock technique at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum, Palace of Legion of Honor, San Francisco and at the Stanford University."
Following Galleries represent the artist and expose her work.
Author: Dieter Wanczura