Artist Talk via Zoom:
Karen Allen, visual artist, will share her inspirations and process for creating her works “Ark, Totems and Vessels” and the “Under and Over the Allowable Limit”
About the Artist
Karen Allen paintings and drawings in acrylic, oils and pastels are figurative abstractions. The inner feeling and meaning of what has inspired me visually is more important for me than careful rendering. I am
looking for both balance and contrast: to preserve the initial figurative trigger that inspired the work and to visually refine an essence of the feeling or “inner tug” that led me to that image. More and more I seem to be moving closer toward total abstraction. But I don’t feel that I will ever abandon my love of what I can see in the world around me with my eyes. It’s a fine balance …
The various collage elements which I sometimes use introduce an exploration of visual texture and personal historical intimacy. I look for balance and contrast between playfulness and considered graphic call and response during my painting process. Sometimes my working surfaces are 3 dimensional objects whose functionality becomes changed into an allegory or a metaphor. This is a clue of how and what the painting tells me about my interior life. Creating art is for me a contemplative process as well as a physical one.
In my work I am looking for visual paradoxes, a crossing into an immensity of space that may have no relationship to the actual size of things. I am becoming even more interested in how change in physical scale changes a painting’s feelings and intentions. Aesthetically, I am very interested in how pure painting ideas can be scaled to mural sized works in public spaces both to enhance architectural space and express something personal. Underlying all this is what I call my “second truth”. That is, the positive and regenerative life force that I believe lies in the universe we inhabit. A universe so beautiful, yet so full of tragedy, disappointment and darwinian struggle. I am a very flawed and imperfect idealist who actually believes the act of creation by artists has something to do with our deepest calling to be whole.