Jean migrated to Seattle in 1970 from New York City, where she was educated in medicine and psychiatry. After 1975 she began her artistic education informally through exposure to Northwest Coast Indian Art. She was interested in indigenous history and art forms, particularly formline design, and began carving annual masks and constructing traditional boxes. After year 2000, she moved to graphic paintings on red cedar panels and handpulled linoleum block prints, concentrating on animals from the Northwest Coast.
Jean honed her calligraphic skills through local workshops and developed handmade books to incorporate lettering arts and design by telling animal stories from the Northwest.