KAREN GREEN RECOR BIOGRAPHY
Karen Green Recor is a Connecticut native who has been in love with painting all of her life and has been drawing and painting since she could hold paintbrushes and crayons. Inspiration to create came at an early age from her mom who was a Sunday painter of landscapes and still life. Later encouraged by her art teachers and professors, Karen pursued higher education and graduated from Russell Sage College in Troy, New York with a B.S. in Fine Arts and Education. She continued her education by acquiring an M.S. degree in art education from Southern Connecticut State University and then began a teaching career.
Karen has always been interested through her readings and travel in ancient cultures and their customs, dance, music, poetry and visual arts and other forms of creative expression. She began traveling to various archeological sites to explore them first hand. These adventures took her to American Indian sites in many areas of the United States, the Mayan ruins in Central America, Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, the British Isles, the Caribbean, and Canada.
Using these travels as an impetus for further exploration Karen completed a C.A.S. degree at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. As she became more fascinated with each culture that she studied, the influences and mark making techniques of the cultures were absorbed into her psyche and in her artwork. Karen decided to focus on these ideas and finished an MFA degree in painting at Hartford Art School at University of Hartford. In this program she studied with N.Y. artist, Susan Wilmarth Rabineau, wife of the deceased minimalist sculptor, Christopher Wilmarth.
Through this study of cultures Karen became intrigued by the layering of each segment of history, the evocative calligraphic line, the various mixed media materials and the effect that light played in an artwork. Here she reduced her images to a more simplified format and became excited by working with just the formal elements in an artwork rather than replicating what exists in nature.
Transcending the natural and exploring a window into an internal world these explorations led Karen to experiment further with creating ideas through her use of unconventional materials such as cold wax, natural objects, scraps of cloth, objects, and impasto paint. In addition she continues to evolve while creating various techniques of applying the paint to its surface. By using palette knives, fingers, brushes, sticks, etc. and by scratching, gouging, staining, dripping, deconstructing and using accidents to their best advantage she creates more surface studies that lead to internal explorations as reflected in her Meditation Series (See Review in The New Haven Register, April 16th, 2006). Her explorations from the Meditation Series have a far eastern influence, which informs her artwork and is a result of her interest and study of yoga and Buddhism. This simplicity is conveyed through their texture, color and calligraphic line movement. The primitive marks, color, texture, innate light, asymmetrical compositions and line direct one to focus on these clues leading to a spiritual place.
Karen’s paintings were well received in NYC at the Painting Center (Abstract Art on Line, Gallery Views/SOHO October 1998) where she was a member, and in galleries in Chelsea, Williamsburg and Brooklyn. Her artwork has been shown both nationally and internationally and is part of many private and corporate collections, which include: McKinsey and Co., Florham Park, New Jersey, Phoenix Life Insurance, Albany, New York, Connecticut National Bank, Wethersfield, Connecticut and Bank Five, Arlington, Massachusetts.
Karen is a full time painter and can be found in her studio, Gallery Number 9. She exhibits her work in galleries in Connecticut, New York, and Boston.
Through my love of painting and readings about ancient cultures and visits to sites in areas around the Mediterranean and other parts of the world I have been inspired to create images that are symbolic of a time, place or idea. These bodies of abstract paintings that are derived from memories have evolved from an unrestricted exploration of color, form, light, texture and mark making. I usually begin with a shape or texture and color that interests me and start to build relationships with other forms, shapes, textures which I move around the canvas until a composition appears. Then I adhere more papers, wax, string, modeling paste, objects, canvas, and use paint, oil sticks, staining as the process unfolds. I build or construct layers of paint and this process takes place over several sessions, which may take weeks or months. Sometimes I deconstruct these images and rebuild or reinvent as people and civilizations have done over the course of history. Mistakes or passages are rejected and are replaced. Some are torn out or left with ragged edges showing the process of aging perhaps or of trying to channel the work in another direction.
In the beginning I was mostly concerned with the addition of layers representing the metaphorical process of growth and aging. One day while painting in my studio I ripped some of the layers of a painting off and unexpectedly realized the beauty of the scarring, the color and marks that were left behind. It was a revelation to see the beauty underneath. This internal beauty even surpassed some of the outer areas in the artwork. I discovered that the irregularities and imperfections were some of the most interesting parts the artwork for me. The chipping paint, the areas of thick paint, stains, cracks, an unusual color, free flowing lines, paper and cloth folds, etc. all were surprisingly clear and fresh to see. Each had an individual beauty that was unique to itself like every individual and ancient civilization.
I hope these paintings will evoke memories for the viewer of a time, place or idea that is triggered by your subconscious. My intention is to have you experience the lusciousness of the color, the simplicity of form, the linear variations, and the imperfections as well as the luminosity of some surfaces in contrast to opaque areas. This experience will allow a kind of sensuous spirituality in the juxtaposition of visual mystery.
“There is not a single true work of art that has not in the end added to the inner freedom of each person who has known it and loved it.”Albert Camus
M. F. A. in Painting, Hartford Art School, University of Hartford, Hartford, CT.
C. A. S. in Art, Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT.
M. S. in Art, Southern Connecticut State University, New Haven, CT.
B. S. in Art, Russell Sage College, Troy, New York.