Painting the landscape from the inside of a moving car is an exercise in seeing and observation. It is reminiscent of doing quick studies in a figure drawing class. The fluidity of the watercolor paint goes well with the motion of the car. It is easy to make painting after painting, each a continuation of the previous one, or to continue to work on one, changing it in real time, adding color and line over a period of time, remembering what I just saw, and looking ahead to see what is coming over the horizon. It is also a lovely way to pass the time on a long road trip.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
I started taking classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago while still in grammar school. It took several years attending various colleges, intermittently studying physics and psychology before going back to SAIC to get a degree in drawing and painting. During an exchange program in Ireland, I painted images from my dreams and imagination. Sometime after that, while living in the South of France, I painted outdoors, a practice I continued for many years in the streets of Chicago.
Although Chicago intersections and architecture are still a great source of inspiration and figure prominently in my work, my newest paintings are more dreamscape than cityscape, only partially concerned with defining a particular location. The streets are mostly empty, but there is usually a dog and sometimes the ghostly image of a person. If there is a narrative, it is more symbolic than literal. The meaning of the dog in a particular work is to assume a pose that suggests some form of the question: What, exactly, is going on here and where is everyone?
Karen lives in Evanston, along with her husband. They have 2 cats and 1 dog, who now due to circumstances beyond anyone’s control have to live on separate floors. She is represented by Addington Gallery in Chicago.
© Karen Perl