Capturing the fleeting moods of cityscapes and landscapes as they are transformed by fog, rain, light and darkness is my continuing passion. Reinventing and finding beauty in our day-to-day pedestrian world . . . watching the drama unfold in atmospheric changes as day recedes into the formless abstractions of night . . . reveling in the play of reflections dancing on a rain swept pavement and contemplating the mysterious in the spaces between the objects we see . . . this is my inspiration.  Through manipulation of color, design, nuance and form, I strive to make the ordinary extraordinary.



Carol Jessen was born and raised in Oakland, California.  She studied at San Francisco State University and holds a bachelor of arts degree in journalism and biology.  After graduating she donned her backpack and traveled the many corners of the world including Europe, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and many countries of the far east.  She would then go on to study at the Mendocino Art Center and the Academy of Art in San Francisco.  The far east left a vivid impression which prompted her to reside in Kyoto, Japan for a year and on a later trip study Japanese woodblock printing in the Japan Alps with Toshi Yoshida.  She was also tutored in design, composition and the psychology of perception by William S. Lansberg.

Hunters Point Shipyard, the once abandoned navel shipyard in San Francisco, is now home to one of the largest artist communities in the United States where Carol enjoys her studio by the bay. Her primary mediums are oil painting, pastel and various forms of printmaking and collage. Her work has been featured by Next Monet and Editions Limited where her original oil paintings and pastels sold out at the New York Art Expo in 2004.  Her paintings have also been featured on book covers and the film "Click" starring Adam Sandler.


Selected Exhibitions and Galleries

Arc Gallery, San Francisco, CA  Four Squared Group Show, 2015, 2016 and 2018

San Francisco Open Studios at Hunters Point Shipyard, 1988-present

Sausalito Arts Festival, Sausalito, CA  (1987 to 2010)  Juried  (1994 Poster commission)

Mill Valley Arts Festival, Mill Valley, CA  (1990 - 1997)  Juried

The Ren Brown Gallery, Bodega, CA

Chemers Gallery, Anaheim, CA  

Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Joanne Chappel Gallery, San Francisco, CA

The Verne Collection, Cleveland, Ohio  (1992)  Solo show

Castle Fine Art, San Francisco, CA  (1995)  Group of Four

Michael Thompson Gallery, San Francisco, CA

Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA  (1994)  Solo show

Ft. Mason Art Center Gallery, San Francisco, CA  (1988, 1990 and 1991)

Shenandoah Winery Gallery, Plymouth, CA  (1987)  Group show


Woodblock Printing Demonstrations

Palace of Legion of Honor Museum, Achenbach Collection, San Francisco, CA (1989)

Stanford University, Palo Alto  (1990 and 1992)

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco, CA  (1990)



Cleveland Art Museum, Cleveland, Ohio hold two of my woodblock prints in their permanent collection.

New York Public Library, NYC

James Ward III, San Francisco, CA.  His collection includes over 50 paintings by Jessen.

Michael and Michele Ritter, Boulder, CO

Robert and Kathy Skinner, San Francisco, CA