Karen Benson is a mixed media painter living and creating in the Pacific Northwest. Originally from the East Coast, Karen has been creating art since childhood. After graduating with a BFA in Painting from the California College of Art in 1994, she began working in world class museums including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has participated in numerous gallery exhibitions and juried competitions over the past 25 years, showing and selling work across the United States and in Mexico. Her works can be found in many private collections throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada.
"I really am drawn to works where you see the artist's 'hand'. Under drawings, mark- making, etc... It feels like you are seeing glimpses of the process. From John Singer Sargent to Degas to Cy Twombly's work - I like the gestures and brushstrokes and pencil marks that the viewer sees within the finished piece."
Karen works in both encaustics (molten wax) and acrylic/mixed media on wood and canvas. Mixed media works include paint, oil stick, pastels, pencil, image transfer prints and ephemera such as maps and text. Her works explore the space between representation and abstraction. Multiple layers and textures imbue the paintings with a patina of color, texture and richness while the subject matter - including nests, hummingbirds, lotus flowers, oranges, paper boats, white cotton dresses, typewriters - offer symbolic meaning and personal narrative. By combining this imagery with gestural mark marking, atmospheric veils of paint, and hints of text or maps, Karen creates paintings that explore themes such as memory, transcendence, beauty and the gifts of everyday life.
View Artwork by Karen Benson in Person
Come see these pieces first hand. We are just a short walk from the ferry and an excellent destination for your visit to San Juan Island.
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