Karen Mason – artist statement/bio
I express a unique contemporary flair in my bird and botanical paintings through the combination of bold lines, vibrant texture and luminous atmosphere - using layers of oil, ink and poured resin. The influence of my Italian heritage and emersion into Asian culture become evident in my resin paintings, balancing of nature’s splendor and imperfection in a Renaissance Wabi Sabi style.
The translucent atmospheric effect is achieved via resin pours over oil and acrylic on cradled board, and is influenced by my earlier study of watercolor washes, glazing techniques and hours of painting California landscapes. Painting this way allows me to convey such warm lazy afternoon experiences in a meaningful way; holding the moment together with layers of atmospheric color and stark bold lines that connect and clarify the relationship of the characters.
Sun-drenched birch trees and a forest of gingko and bamboo set the mood and are inspirational focal points, capturing the simplicity of traditional woodblock and the spender of liquid landscapes in my paintings. Depicted in a contemporary softness, the subjects appear to sway and move with the wafting winds that create the journey of their life. Such large-scale multi-panel pieces resemble Asian folding screens and can be re-arranged to suit their surroundings.
In the Shadow Makers series, one gives another the present of a bouquet of flowers, and its shadow follows – sometimes in larger than life size, above and below ones feet, ahead or lagging behind. It is such a delight to capture those moments when the gifted flora bouquet decides to play, dance, and sprint with its shadow against a textured backdrop. Reflections steal the spirit, while a shadow is the spirit that remains with you; outlining, reflecting you.
My bird paintings invite the viewer to experience the drama and grace of raptors and the curiosity and confidence of young character birds as they maneuver through their world. In my dreams these light-hearted fellows pursue a different life, jumping on bicycles to stretch their legs and take in the beautiful sights. Riding solo or on tandems with the full family onboard, it is such an exciting adventure to soar on a bicycle. I’m delighted to have been considered for placement in a local hospital children’s ward, with La Street Peddling having been selected and reproduced in large format for display in the hallway to add an element of silliness and joy for the children.
I am inspired each day by birds and botanicals and am grateful that my garden studio offers the opportunity to paint outdoors and spend hours “looking up and at the world” – through the trees as birds fearlessly jump among the branches.
-Karen Mason, painter artist
Karen Mason’s paintings can be found in private and corporate collections around the world. She believes that such growing interest is grounded in having learned to “look at the world” rather than just see it, and her ability to draw viewers into the same experience as they approach the warmth of the paintings from across the room to be delighted with the detail of the budding relationships and interactions.