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Mimi Jensen

"The Still Life continues to be my focus, my joy, and my challenge, allowing me to express my observations and ideas in compositions I create. Some of my paintings are inspired by objects that delight or intrigue me with their character ("The Artisans") or beauty ("Harmony") or whimsy ("Backstage"); some express ideas such as fleeting time ("Passages"), immeasurable love ("Love Letter"), or hedonistic pleasure ("Midnight Supper"); some are inspired by my travels ("Kathmandu, "Paris"); and some pay homage ("Reflections on Red and Black"). By spotlighting the subjects "on stage," I want to entice the viewer into a narrative, which I nudge with the titles.

When I find a particularly inviting subject or concept I return to it again and again, working in series. A few years ago I fulfilled a dream of spending an entire week at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Each day, all day, I leisurely studied the paintings, sculptures, and antiquities and luxuriated in the pleasure of simply being there. This resulted in an on-going series of Still Life paintings, "A Week at the Met."

Regarding my usual process, the first stage, COMPOSING, is playful as I select and arrange items from various sources—boxes of thrift-store finds, colorful fruits from farmers markets, treasured items from my travels and friends, or any happened-upon objects that catch my eye. I frequently stack these subjects precariously for added drama, and often arrange them to suggest human relationships. I arrange and rearrange until my idea feels realized and the rhythm feels right. Then it's time to pick up the paintbrush.

Next, always working in oil on canvas or linen, I start PAINTING by loosely sketching the composition in umber, then establishing lights and darks and form using umber and white (grisaille technique), and finally transitioning to color with increasing attention to detail at each step.

I prefer painting from observation rather than from photographs. By relying on my eye rather than a photo, I can readily refine placements and proportions as needed to suit the overall composition. Listening to music or stories while painting keeps me "in the zone" by occupying my mind so my eyes and hands are free to do their work."


"Using bold colors to depict theatrically lit objects, her paintings invite speculation into the possible metaphors." – California Home+Design magazine

Mimi Jensen is a Still Life painter who is inspired by her ideas and observations. Jensen's education and early work experience were eclectic—Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Speech Therapist, Technical Editor, and even an Airline Analyst to satisfy her desire to travel. Eventually she returned to graduate school to follow her dream of studying art. While still a graduate student in drawing and painting she was selected for her first commercial gallery show, which led to subsequent exhibitions and launched her professional career as a painter. She has exhibited widely in the U.S., has been featured in numerous publications—American Art Collector, California Home+Design, Fine Art Today, New American Paintings, Professional Artist, Southwest Art, The Artist's Magazine—and for the past 20 years she has been represented by galleries in San Francisco, Santa Monica, Boston, Santa Fe, and other cities.

Mimi is a California native. Although she has always lived in California, she has traveled widely, prompted by her wanderlust and curiosity about other lands and cultures. The objects and ideas collected in these travels often appear in her work. She and her husband have lived in San Francisco since 1990. Despite her love of travel she always welcomes returning to San Francisco where she continues to revel in the beauty, art, cuisine, and bustle of her adopted city.

Mimi Jensen's works are in hundreds of private and corporate collections worldwide.