Jonna Jensen’s Tree of Life
Trees, in all their magical glory, are powerful symbols of physical and spiritual nourishment, transformation, sustenance, spiritual growth, fertility and union. In Norse mythology, the Yggdrasil tree or tree of life is often seen as noble.
Growing up on a farm in the Norse lands of the Netherlands, artist Jonna Jensen spent her childhood exploring the nearby woods, where she would discover a strong affinity with trees under their protective gaze. “I’ve always been very much drawn to nature. I spend a lot of time there, and everything I see, I absorb,” she says. “Some of these things inspire me, mostly trees. I feel a strong connection to them and the forest, sometimes it even feels like I am a part of it all.”
Trees have always played a significant role in Jensen’s work. Whether the trees she paints are with or without blossoms, the branches and trunk, always the centerpiece of her paintings, are emblematic of strength and power. Fluid lines and bursts of color in acrylic, sometimes bold and sometimes faint, chart the trees through seasons or environmental concern. Winter Soul depicts a towering tree with a full head of red blossoms. While Tree of Life shows a trunk that twists and turns into an infinite loop of branches as it basks in the sun. Then there are the beautiful, ornate wands that Jensen has created from tree branches, and incorporating other earthly elements such as gemstones in her magical offerings.
“I would describe my art as a spiritual representation of nature, or better yet, a representation of the spirituality that is nature,” Jensen explains. “I feel a deep need to express what I see and what I feel, to capture it before it fades, and to share it. These things are given to me visually, that makes me want to use the brush.
“When I paint, I feel like time stands still, like I am living in the moment, and I am one with what I paint. I then do not get tired, nothing can distract me, I feel complete, there are no worries, there is only me.”
Jensen’s spiritual path started early. The need to paint and draw came intuitively to someone born into a family where creativity was applauded. “Most of my family members seemed to have a desire to express themselves in a creative manner, and I was no different,” she says. “As far as I can tell, what was different about me was the way I viewed the world. Some spiritual sight seemed to offer me a different perspective. As a young girl I felt the desire to draw, to paint, to give expression to my dreams, fantasies and visions.”
Jonna Jensen tells an illustrative story of what is going on in the elemental environment around her. Although she was not “consciously aware” in her youth that she was pursuing art in this manner, she says: “I’ve always had a deep fascination for nature. I believe the urge was there from the very beginning. I started drawing (often nature-related) at a very young age.”
Through the eyes of her soul, Jonna Jensen has developed what appears to be a photographic memory of what it is she desires to draw or paint. “I am also inspired by my dreams and visions, which are very vivid, and frequent,” Jensen says. “Somehow I’ve often been able to hold on to these images clearly and long enough to translate them into my paintings. Those times I was able to do that, were the times the inspiration sprang from my inner being.”
Jensen recalls wanting to go to art academy as a young woman, but as with many artists like her born with a gift, art school is rarely the path they need nor should pursue. “More than anything in the world I wanted to attend the art academy, but me being a woman I had little prospective future, my parents told me,” she says. “So my art is purely, and simply, me.”
Today Jonna Jensen mostly uses acrylics, but in the past she used to work with oils. Soapstone have become a particular interest of the artist, whereby she recently created a sculpture depicting a circle of people in a protective embrace, made using the material. She is also looking at gaining access to materials so she can work with wood next. Sometimes, Jenna explains, she can get through several canvases in a week, each with a different tale to tell.
“One time I actually made four paintings in a week, one of a robin, for my sister. An abstract painting for my son, since he liked one I made for myself in the past. I made two others as well, ” she describes. “All of them, except for the robin, came to me in visions. These visions come to me at night, which is often the case.”
A selection of Jonna Jensen’s artwork is available to buy from:
Huria Choudhari is a journalist, creative warrior, intuitive counselor and life coach. She writes about music, fashion and lifestyle for Life & Soul Magazine: www.lifeandsoulmagazine.com. Having carved her journalism career in news and current affairs, Huria is a truth seeker. Applying that very same ethic, she also offers creative coaching and intuitive counselling services to help others discover their own truth. Get in touch with Huria at www.lifeandsoulcreatives.com or www.lifesoulfreedom.com