Local artist Andra Jensen opens new show

Contributed photo courtesy of Andra Jensen: Andra Jensen's new art show will be opening Monday morning.

By Brooke Curley


THATCHER – Few artists can express such a profound change in their artistic style with such grace.

Thatcher resident and Eastern Arizona College instructor, Andra Jensen, is opening a new art show on Monday in the Gherald L. Hoopes Jr. Activities Center lobby. Anyone who is familiar with Jensen’s artistic style may remember her careful precision and delicate line work. Considering Jensen’s previous artistic shows and prized pieces, some may be surprised by her newest artistic style: Finger painting.

Contributed photo courtesy of Andra Jensen: This is an example of Jensen’s Sharpie style, which is very detailed and precise.

When asked how this extreme transition in style affected her, Jensen told Gila Valley Central that it was a freeing experience. However, Jensen did say she slipped back into detailed artistic designs in several of her latest pieces, but it was to simply show the style’s possibilities.

“I’m so glad I finally broke out of my usual ways. It can be really liberating. What’s the point of doing something the same way again and again?” Jensen said. “At that point, you’re just a machine. Habit drags me back to detail, though. I did some detailed, precise works to show the possibilities of what can be done with just fingerpaint.”

Contributed photo Courtesy of Andra Jensen: Her newest style of finger painting flows with bright color.

The technique is just what it sounds like, using paint liberally on fingertips and palms to create an image on a canvas. Jensen said that fingerpainting encourages her to use a looser style. Also, Jensen said that connecting directly with the painting is magical. Lastly, Jensen said that the best part of finger painting is that there are no brushes to clean afterward.

“About five years ago I tried my first finger painting.‭ ‬(Using) ten fingers instead of just one brush was very a‬wesome.‭ ‬Really,‭ ‬I used all parts of my hand.‭ ‬I could mix paint in the palm of my left hand and paint with the right,” Jensen said.‭ “‬Knuckles were very convenient:‭ ‬Each could hold a different color.”

Although Jensen loved to work with paint covering her hands and wrists, she warned that certain acrylic and oil paints may be dangerous if placed on the skin. After experiencing headaches after extended paint exposure, Jensen stresses the consultation of the materials safety data sheets before handling paints without gloves.

The newest show consists of 15 artistic works that Jensen created over the past two years. Jensen estimates that the show represents roughly 350 hours of finger painting. Each artwork is painted in either acrylic or oil paint.

Jensen grew up in Arizona and Idaho and holds an Associate’s degree in Art Education from Eastern Arizona College,‭ ‬and a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from Brigham Young University-Idaho. She currently teaches drawing,‭ ‬watercolor,‭ ‬and oil painting at Eastern Arizona College.‭ Jensen‬ also teaches private art lessons.‭

For information about a live demo on finger painting by Andra Jensen, email her at: andracjensen@hotmail.com

Contributed photo courtesy of Andra Jensen: This close up view of the artwork illustrates the color combinations and skillful finger work.