MESQUITE, Nev. — Jan Stensland, an artist whose passion for the Southwest inspires her creativity, is November’s Artist of the Month at the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery.
“Ms. Stensland’s unique and varied works of art are fueled by her passion for the Southwest,” Jenny Riddick, secretary and facilities manager for the Virgin Valley Artists Association, Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, said in a press release. “From acrylic paintings to works of art made entirely from items found in the desert, her artwork brings home true Southwestern living.”
Stensland said she fell in love with the desert landscape after visiting Arizona.
“In Tucson, Arizona, I fell in love with the landscape and the art,” Stensland said. “I was instantly at home and could see myself living in the dry, unforgiving climate so different from Ketchikan, Alaska, where I had grown up, and Kent, Washington, where we lived at the time.”
She said she had never lifted a paintbrush “except to refurbish our furniture and our 100-year-old farmhouse,” but she set out to create her version of what she had seen in Tucson and sold her first painting of a folk art buffalo.
“Two years later, my vision came true as we had a house built in Mesquite,” she said. “Visiting the Southwest prompted my love for painting, but living here has fueled my passion. The desert itself has become my inspiration.”
Stensland said she found a way to combine her love of the desert exploring for junk and turning it into art.
“The patience, support and woodworking skills of my husband, Mike, have allowed me to take my inspiration to a whole new level,” she added.
She said she hopes her art brings people a smile or a chuckle.
Her works will show in the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery, located at 15 W. Mesquite Boulevard, from now until Dec. 3.