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Jean Tobin


“I love the light and color of watercolor–and I love flowers,” Jean Tobin observes, adding, “Poet Elizabeth Bishop talked about creating ‘real toads in imaginary gardens,’ and I am pleased by a combination of realistic detail and the atmosphere of dream. Presently I am exploring wet-on-wet techniques, and enjoy blending colors and creating contrasts.”

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Jean Tobin began painting in spring 2001, when she took a class called “Watercolor for Absolute Beginners.” The instructor, James Michael, has remained her teacher and mentor. Other artists who have been highly influential on her work are Bridget Austin, Jeanne Carbonetti, Sharon Crosbie, Jeanne Dobie, Win Jones, and Gail Speckmann .Jean Tobin’s work may be seen regularly at Two Fish Gallery in Elkhart Lake and at the Jura Silverman Gallery (Wisconsin Artists’ Showcase) in Spring Green.

In addition to numerous articles, reviews, and poems, Jean Tobin has published two books: with Ruth Saxton, WOOLF AND LESSING: BREAKING THE MOLD (St. Martin’s 1994; MacMillan, 1994) and CREATIVITY AND THE POETIC MIND (Lang, 2004). She taught at the University of Wisconsin Sheboygan and is presently Professor Emerita of English with the University of Wisconsin Colleges. She lives with her husband in a wooded area on Lake Michigan near Sheboygan, Wisconsin