She has painted obsessively her entire life, filling sketchbooks with great menageries of animals. Some paintings begin as landscapes of places she knows well that have an emotional resonance, and she uses these as ‘theatres’ for her characters to tell their stories. Every aspect of Karen’s paintings has symbolic meaning for her.
Horses are a subject she returns to over and over, a profound love in her life, symbolic of freedom and power, and a link to her Scandinavian heritage and the horses of Norse myths.
Karen’s pugs have been constant companions throughout her life, and appear in her paintings regularly, always happy to model and pose. Their absolute loyalty, tragic faces, and clownish behaviour make them irresistible subjects.
Many paintings begin with a fragmentary image that lodges in Karen’s mind. She will often wake in the morning with a remnant of a dream that demands painting, and so she will begin, weaving threads of love, loss, strangeness and wonder that she has gathered over time.
Karen’s paintings are shown permanently at Montville Art Gallery, 138 Main Street, Montville, and are also shown on the gallery website www.montvilleartgallery.com.au