Born in Wisconsin in 1951 and raised in Minnesota, Brian recalls many long winter days being devoted to drawing. He says, “you can only stay outdoors in subzero weather for just so long, and since we only had one channel on TV, drawing became the only option that interested me.” However, in high school, science and sports became his focus. After graduating from college in 1973, with a degree in physical education and sports medicine, he moved to Australia to teach physical education and coach.

After 3 1/2 wonderful years in Australia, Jekel traveled through the countries of the Far East, Asia, and Europe and eventually settled in Denver where he did some substitute teaching. Disappointed with the public school system and he decided that it was time for a career change. Jekel remembers checking into the art schools in Denver, he adds, “I liked the Rocky Mountain School of Art and Design (“the Rock”) and its thrust in figurative work. The director and founder of the school was Phil Steele who was a student of George Bridgman of the Art Students League in New York City. Bridgman was legendary in his approach to artistic anatomy which was devoted to construction, mass, form, and movement. It went beyond basic anatomical knowledge of memorizing the skeletal and muscular systems and their movements. Steele, in turn, gave his students knowledge and skills that allowed the student to go creatively beyond the mere copying of what was in front of their eyes. After just one year at the Rock, Jekel was asked to teach in the figure drawing and painting classes as well as the watercolor landscape class.

While in school, Brian met Marlene, another art student, and two years later they married and moved to Lacey, Washington. Eventually the Lord led them to a christian college in Pensacola, FL who was looking for an illustrator and art teacher. He and his wife have raised seven children there.

Since 1981, Jekel has been teaching drawing, painting, and illustration at Pensacola Christian College. Speaking of their art program he confidently says, “the Lord sends us fine young students every year who are not only talented, but dedicated and focused in their calling.

In addition to his teaching, Jekel has illustrated well over 1200 paintings of the Bible for the college’s publishing company, Abeka. He says, “that’s been an education in itself to really get into those events and stories of the Bible; to study them; and then create an illustration that attempts to bring it to life. There are so many great stories, awesome in scope and importance, but the life of Christ has been the most humbling and sometimes burdensome experience. There are times when you can feel the weight of it all.”

In his personal work, Jekel has found that he needs to explore the life of Jesus in a more personal way. He adds, “I’ve only begun to find what I need to do and there seems to be so little time.” In addition to biblical works, his passion and specialty is figurative and landscape painting. Since 1981, Brian continues to teach and share the knowledge and love for his craft with college students from around the world. His objective is simple: to honor God in all that he creates.