Jennifer grew up in New Jersey and began to draw at a very young age. She studied neuroscience in college and considered pursuing a path in psychology. After living in Boulder and Seattle, she moved to Austin. She attained her Ph.D. in 2001 after conducting anthropological fieldwork in Mexico. Although her experience in Mexico was rich, Jennifer longed for artistic creativity. In August of 2001, Jennifer spent a month in Spain, France, and Italy where she saw masterworks that would become her inspiration. She then threw herself into oil painting and now paints fervently. Jennifer has taken art classes at Laguna Gloria Art School, the Austin Fine Arts School and at the Art Students League in Denver. She currently paints in her studio and in life painting groups. She has been teaching figure and portrait painting in oils to private groups of students since 2005. In 2018, she cofounded Atelier Dojo, a realist art academy in Austin, Texas. Her work has been exhibited across the United States and in Europe and has been featured in a number of national and international art publications. Her portraits have received awards by the Portrait Society of America and she has been awarded “Best Visual Artist” by the Austin Chronicle’s Readers’ Poll and nominated by the Austin Critics Table for Austin’s Best Visual Artist. In 2019, she had her first international solo exhibition at the Chimera Gallery in Mullingar, Ireland. She is currently preparing for a solo show this year. When not painting, she is adventuring through life with her son Karlo and husband Jeff either on bicycle or unicycle. Her work can be found at www.jenniferbalkan.net.