"Zoo Train", oil pastel on paper, 41" x 29.5", 2015
“Always” is a story of two opponents. Always there will be creatures of myth and magic like the spotted, winged unicorn. And always there will be those who try to kill the sources of myth and magic. It is a war between the forces of hot, visionary vistas and cold, logical realism. The unicorn has his sharp horn. The hunter has a shotgun. Who lives and who dies? Our society is now parched for stories of miraculous things. Science would like to kill mysticism. It is trying.
"Apollo and Daphne", detail
This drawing is naughty. “How rude!” a person wrote to me. But the lady in the red and green dress is blessed. Something from up above, (it is inhuman), spits drops of inspiration onto the crown of her head. Look how strong her legs are as she stands on pointed toes. Look at how she tames the up-swept folds of her massive gown. She is a mighty female force. And yet there are elements of darkness. The bird with the savage beak has a shackle around its throat. The bird can’t fly. It isn’t free. While I was working on this this drawing I said to myself, “Karen, now you have really done it. With this drawing, you have managed to fall off the edge of a very flat earth.” Peeing is an act of defiance.
"Always", oil pastel on paper, 20" x 20", 2015
“Blue Man” is my version of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream”. If I could draw a scream then it would look like this. The main colors in the drawing are the primary colors of red, blue and yellow. Primary colors are very loud. Particularly the yellow background conveys anxiety. My belief is that Munch’s “The Scream” is an icon of our culture because it says something true. People remember “The Scream” because they think to themselves when seeing it, “yes, I know what that feels like.” Art doesn’t have to be about happiness and serenity. Art can be about the emotions that we are afraid to talk about. Darkness illuminated is a triumph.
"Family", oil pastel on paper, 14" x 11", 2015
"Eloquent Solution", oil pastel on paper, 30" x 22", 2014
"Love in the Air", oil pastel on paper, 40" x 26", 2014
A retired high school art teacher and I discussed this drawing. She said to me, “Your ideas come from here”. And with her right hand she gestured to the empty space next to her right ear. She meant my ideas come from a place outside of the head! Mixing unlikely elements is what I do best. A zoo train is a very childlike concept. But sexuality is a mature theme. Both of these things are true – there are a lot of stuffed toys in my art studio, and I have physical relations with my husband.
"Spooky World", oil pastel on paper, 29.5 x 41", 2014
It is a design challenge to create art for rhinestone frames. The problem with rhinestone frames is that they glitter. The frames create such a dazzle of light that can easily outshine the art. So the art has to have a power equal or greater than the rhinestones. A landscape will not work in a rhinestone frame because that kind of image meanders. The correct image for these frames has to be very tight and succinct. Like hitting one strong note. A shout. “Hello!”
My husband says that out of all my recent drawings, “Love in the Air” is his favorite. Why? When the wife is being so vindictive with her knife? How can my husband favor a drawing with so much violence? To all of these questions my husband will reply with shame in his voice, “because that is me. The male figure, you got it right.” So this fellow who looks away and wastes his seed, that is a proper portrait of my husband. My husband likes that I tell the truth.
The red symbols in the tree do not repeat. Each red symbol is new and different. Making new symbols is like making a new language. It is fun.
"Blue Man", oil pastel on paper, 41" x 29.5", 2014
"Tree of Life", oil pastel on paper, 29.5" x 19", 2015
"Fertile Bird", oil pastel on paper, 10" x 8", 2015
"Apollo and Daphne", oil pastel on paper, 41" x 29.5", 2015
"Hello", oil pastel on paper, 14" x 11", 2015
"Fallen Angel", oil pastel on paper, 41" x 29.5", 2014
"Baby Maker", oil pastel on paper, 10" x 8", 2015
In Greek mythology Apollo was a mighty god. His father was Zeus. Daphne was the beautiful daughter of a minor god. Her father was the god of rivers and wood groves. Apollo and Daphne were both shot by Cupid’s arrows but each got a different arrow. Apollo was shot with the golden arrow of love. Daphne was shot with a lead arrow. So while Apollo was consumed with lust for Daphne, Daphne wished to remain celibate and preserve her virginity. Apollo ran after Daphne trying to rape her. When Daphne started to tire, and it seemed like Apollo would catch up to her, she called out to her magical father to help her. There was only one small thing Daphne’s father could do. He could change her into a tree. And Daphne wanted that. She would rather be a tree than have sex with Apollo. In my drawing Apollo and Daphne are not physically designed to have sex together. His three pronged penis will never be able to fit into Daphne’s single hole anatomy.