Karen is an encaustic artist whose work is motivated by her relationship with nature. It is a source of renewal, energy and peace which lends to limitless inspiration to create both realistic and abstract expressions. Encaustic is an ancient beeswax based paint which is applied and heated to create rich layers of unique depth and luminosity. Her works create imagery and sensations of colour and movement with a hint of mystery.
I began my painting journey by studying with excellent art instructors and experimenting with a variety of mediums and styles. Although mostly self-taught, I have attended numerous courses including fine arts at Brock University, Sheridan College and Mohawk College. Everything changed when I worked with encaustic artist Andrea Bird at the Alton Mill in Ontario. I fell in love with the depth and qualities of encaustics. I enjoy working in encaustic because I cannot fully control it, and there is an unpredictable path to be taken. The archival qualities of this medium are superior to any other but the true beauty of encaustic paintings is their luminosity.
My influences are first and foremost everything I see, feel and experience. I create from my heart and express the world around me. Encaustics allow me to bring that natural energy of the earth to my paintings. The organic nature of the beeswax based paint lends to its unique depth and mystery. Substrates are recycled, repurposed found materials which creates earth-friendly, karma-friendly, soul-friendly pieces of artwork.
I am drawn to the inherent beauty and spirit of the natural world, and my artwork is a personal dialogue that reaches into the stillness of that spirit. My process is studio intensive but starts outdoors with experience, photography and drawing providing the visual and emotive references that come back into the studio to be created. I create dream-like pieces enhanced through layers of photography, wax and paint. Encaustic painting is a deeply satisfying, solitary process. My paintings usually evolve into compositions of colour. Encaustic paint becomes a multilayered surface for both the visual and tactile senses.
“It’s not art until it becomes personal.” That personal quality of life and art are what I am striving for. I want my life to reflect the best of me and I want my art to be expressions of who I am.