Artist Statement

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Painting is a way of making sense, a way of making implicit experience explicit, of giving form to what is unformulated.  I don’t set out with a preconceived agenda or narrative when I paint, but work to be mindful about discovering meaning in my process, my way of going about making a painting.  My work as a painter over the past three years has moved from expressive portraits to abstract handling of the human figure. I try to give myself over to a process in which I have faith that I will find something true and honest about the engagement with my model or my own subjective experience that will come out in the work.

I embrace abstract expressionist practices that suit my metabolism as a very physical, fast moving person. Prizing spontaneous gesture, I tend to use quickly rendered, expressive marks that build to convey urgency, immediacy, emotional charge and honest engagement with my subject, human being.

 

Intentionality informs these spontaneous processes when I claim  accidents, such as those afforded by employing materials not meant to be used together, and make them a deliberate part of my creative process. I also strive to avoid premature resolution and to push the elements of chance and happening by building time away from a work-in-progress into my process, restraining my ever-ready impulse to act and make a next move. Time away affords a new look and a rhythm of engagement informed both by freedom and restraint, acting and looking.

 

I am enamored with the process of creating, and inviting my viewer into that process, by being open and revealing in my mark making and through the semi-ambiguous content of my work. When a painting violates my expectations and reveals an inner state that I have not been explicitly aware of and could not have articulated without “reading” it in the painting, my faith in process is rewarded by a coming together of meaning in coherent form and human connection.

© 2021 by Karen Schwartz.

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