or

Artist Karen E. Lewis


An example of fine art by Karen E. Lewis

Photo of Karen E. Lewis




Biography


If oil is my medium, then water is my element.  My attachment to water began when I was a kid, at a lake cabin in the Poconos, where I swam among the water lilies and Sunnies.  I graduated from the rowboat to a canoe and went rock-hopping down the Monongahela.  Whitewater kayaking escalated to slalom racing in the Northwest, then nationally, then at pre-world championships in Bala, Wales.  With Northwest Outward Bound, I guided rafters down the Deschutes River. When you spend that much time on rivers, you learn to read the water, looking at swirls for clues to what moves beneath.  Which way is the river flowing?  Which little ripples signify underwater rocks, and which are a disturbance of wind?  Contemplating the sky, I notice that it has its own currents, and a radiance that comes from heat, atmosphere, and the intermixture of air masses. Water became a natural subject for me to paint.  And hey, I just like being there.  For many contented hours, I paint from some special spot with sights, sounds and smells of the outdoors around me.  River, lake, ocean, water of any kind is always my favorite.  In the studio, these plein-air sketches expand into larger works, creating retreats that transport me to that special place. From intimate experience, I use oil paints to describe the natural world as color in motion: skies, waters, even growing things in their relative stillness.  Sweeping brushstrokes express the fluidity of air and water in richly colored shapes.  The solidity of rock and earth give grounding to this motion, carved with form-defining marks.  Connecting earth and sky are the reaching growths of grasses and trees.  I have been out painting the many moods of water.  Here, I share my journeys with you.
 
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