Bio And Artist Statement
Karen began to draw as a small child while bedridden with illness for several years. She was intrigued by the idea of being able to create a separate world of her own making, her own choices of what would be in that world. The placing of a few lines could represent this world and it seemed a small miracle. She felt a strong desire to improve her drawing skills in order to show this inner world more accurately and came to realize that she needed good reference to observe and work from. Karen took art lessons from the age of 8 and eventually attended the Cleveland Institute of Art from where she received a BFA degree, and later an MFA from Syracuse University.
I am hard pressed to say which is my preferred medium, oil paint or pastel. Both have sumptuous, rich colour, blending with ease, and allowing a wide variety of style from tight detail to painterly looseness. Recently, due to increasing sensitivity to even low toxicity solvents, I have switched from regular oil paint to walnut oils, using water mixable oils for underpainting.
Although Karen's favorite subject is the human face and form, she is also interested in nature, animal forms, and well considered still life setups. Complementary colour schemes, strong diagonal compositions, cast shadows, reflections, pattern, and reflected light all influence her choices. She is attracted to the micro rather than macro, with attention, often, to small detail, sometimes offset by areas of breathing space.
I have no set criteria for subjects but rely on visceral signals that tell me here is something I wish to pay attention to; variegated colour, shifts in light, and elegant folds, even sounds and smells, trigger this response. I have, also, increasing MOGO (Most Good, Least Harm) awareness as I age and try, not so much to make a statement on these issues, but project the connections I have come to understand are crucial to the ongoing well being and healing of our world. Combining awareness and asethetic preferences, without sententiousness, has become a challenge and major focus for future work.
Finally Karen is also a sometimes fibre artist. She has been a weaver, silk painter, embroiderer, quilter, sewer, knitter, crocheter, costume designer, and fabriholic with a cache of textiles that crying out to be utilized in upcoming paintings.