Karen Carlton


Artist Statement

Landscapes are my primary subject matter, whether in an oil painting or a pen and ink drawing.
I love the ever changing  fluidity, and randomness of nature. Nature is not only beautiful but unpredictable. The earth is God’s creation and I try to reflect that in my artwork. Although, to me, there is no “work” in artwork. It is a joy to paint. Painting is my freedom of expression, and I love seeing my brushstrokes and emotionality on the canvas.
Many of my paintings show paths. I am intrigued with roads taken and not taken.  The choices we make in life can lead you one way or another. There are so many different paths that our lives can take. Think back to choices made as a teenager, as a young adult, as a young  parent, in your career or pursuing your passion. Paths reflect our journey in life. We can grow or we can falter or we can take a turn off a path or stay on a similar one.
Even if careful thought isn’t given to a choice, we can learn from it. Life is a journey. We, along with the earth we live on, are always evolving. And in similar regard, my original intent on a painting can sometimes change.  I may have a preconceived notion as to what the finished painting will look like but once the painting process starts, the painting takes on a different dynamic. And I welcome those moments when emotion takes over and the result is something I didn’t envision.
Even if a painting doesn’t show a traditional path, I have usually intended  a journey for the viewer on the canvas. There is a movement around the canvas to keep the eye and mind going. This may be done with color or with brushstrokes if not the literal subject matter of a path.
I frequently use line to further define an abstract shape in nature. It gives form to the randomness found in nature. The use of line reflects my love for the pen and ink medium, and my illustration background.

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