Karen Mason – artist statement
I seek to express a unique contemporary flair in my bird and floral paintings through the combination of bold lines, vibrant texture and luminous atmosphere. The influence of my Italian heritage and immersion in Asian culture become evident in my resin paintings, balancing of nature’s splendor and imperfection in a unique 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 and glazing techniques used to capture the visual drama of 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 landscapes in my paintings. Depicted in a contemporary softness, the subjects appear to sway and move with the wafting winds that create the journey story of their life. Such multi-panel pieces resemble Asian folding screens and can be re-arranged to suit their surroundings.
The Whisper series honor the quiet meditation found in the fog layers of the morning-start or long shadows of the afternoon-heat, where one longs to stretch and inhale the surroundings of yet another incredible place and day. Each piece holds their own, creating a quiet home that allows one to recall such quiet moments and cherished memories.
My bird paintings invite the viewer to experience the drama and grace of raptors and shorebirds 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 am inspired each day by birds and botanicals and am grateful to paint outdoors and spend hours “looking up and at the world” – through the trees as birds fearlessly jump among the branches. – Karen Mason, Artist - Painter