Xanadu Gallery | Scottsdale, AZ*

Karen Kurka Jensen


Karen Kurka Jensen is an accomplished sumi-e artist, portraying her deep connection to nature through mystical landscapes and abstract images. Jensen grew up in Minnesota where she was sidetracked from a library career following a traumatic car accident. She went in search of alternative healing after her doctors could not relieve her chronic pain. She met a traditional Chinese healer who not only treated her successfully but introduced her to the Chinese culture and heritage. This led her down a path of discovery in which she fell in love with the art of sumi-e. Karen met and began studying with American sumi-e masters, Susan Frame and Susan Christie shortly after they returned from formal studies overseas in China and Japan, where their teachers were Zhuo He-Jun and Lu Yen Shao. They continue to be her mentors, teachers and dear friends. She has taken workshops with Cheng Khee Chee, Lok Tok and has continued research studies on her own from reknown sumie artists such as Diana Kan and Gao Xingjian. Karen also teaches classes and workshops on the beautiful art of sumi-e.

Early in her career, she developed her own sumi-e inspired style of abstract expressionism; her dreamy landscapes and images take the viewer on a journey into their very own souls. Immediate and lovely, Jensen’s paintings inspire. She conveys her poetic style through the use of natural and traditional materials, creating fantastical images on delicate rice paper with water, ink and color.

“I find in nature, peace and healing. When I discovered the medium of sumi-e, where the importance is connecting spiritually to your subject, I found the language of my soul. People who experience my work say it’s inspiring, that they feel “something” whether it’s beauty, thoughtfulness, or mindfulness speaking into their souls.”

Jensen now resides in Utah, where she walks the trails and mountains of her home after establishing a successful career in galleries and workshops across the Midwest. She continues to teach and exhibit locally and nationally. Her work is in public and private collections across the country.