Jean was born in the wild westerlands of Idaho, where as a youngster she often accompanied her intrepid grandmother on rustic landscape photography and sketching outings, trekking through miles of tick-infested sagebrush and razor-sharp obsidian fields. From 1973-75, she attended the North Carolina School of the Arts high-school division where she majored in flute performance. Following this, she continued music studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the Juilliard School in New York City. After a decade-long hiatus, she returned to college and received a BA degree in psychology in 1989 from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. Her involvement in the visual arts resumed while volunteering on a hotline, where she began to draw vivid abstract colored pencil sketches during phone chats with the clients. At home, she began to create larger works using ink pens, chalk pastels and lacquer, acrylics, and oil pastels. In 1997, she began to use the computer in an attempt to distill out the essential aesthetic she found she was continually in search of. As she states: "My current work derives from an ongoing process of play and the quest for some elusive, mutable aesthetic of form and color. While puttering with the tools of drawing, painting, photography and computer graphics, I occasionally glimpse fragments which seem to approach this ideal a bit more than the rest. Invariably, however, the moment passes, brief enchantment is lost and I move on to what next presents." Jean finds her inner vision most closely associated with the abstract expressionist and color field movements. Some of her favorite inspirations include Friedensreich Hundertwasser, Frank Stella, and Karin Kuhlmann.
© All of the images on this website are copyrighted original artworks by their author and are protected by international copyright law. No materials in this gallery may be reproduced, copied, downloaded, or used in any form without written permission of the contemporary artist Jean Petree.