Thursday, June 2, 2016

Interview with Karen Phillips

1. Who are you and what do you do, and what is your background?
My name is Karen Phillips and I am a painter. I’m originally from California and have lived in Atlanta for nearly 13 years. While I have a degree in Business and have had careers in computer programming/analysis and graphic design, my calling is creating art. I started painting while recovering from a back injury in 2002. As a fledgling artist,
"Mas o Menos" by Karen Phillips
my greatest support came from the Artist Conference Network, founded by the late Beverly Cassell.

2. What's integral to your art and or art career?
Music. I have to have music while I’m painting. It keeps my mind occupied while I have a conversation with the piece that I’m working on. I also love to experiment and learn new things, so books, museum visits, and meeting with other artists is important.

3. What themes do you pursue and what medium do you use?
I am an abstract painter and I use acrylics, water-soluble wax pastels, charcoal, and other water-based media in my work. Right now, I’m using gels, pastes, and collaged paper to create textures and layers to convey a sense of depth and discovery. While I might have an initial idea when I start a painting, a conversation develops between the surface, the medium and myself.

"Reveal" by Karen Phillips
4. What makes you angry, what makes you happy?
Lots of things make me happy; painting in my studio, exploring little towns and nature with my husband, reading a good book on our porch on a sunny afternoon, experiencing live music in intimate settings, contemplating the nature of our existence; I could go on, but I’ll stop now.
Injustice and unequal access to a good education for our children in this country make me angry.

5. Who and what inspire you in your work and/or in your life in general?
Although my mother passed away last, year she continues to be my inspiration. Her kindness, generosity, creativity, sense of humor, and sheer love of life humbles me.
"Echo" by Karen Phillips

6. What superpower would you want?
I would love to have the power to clean up the Earth: air, land, and water. If not that, then how about painting what it is I actually see in my mind?

7. Who are your favorite artists and/or other people?
I’ll never forget the first time I saw a Van Gogh in person at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Wow! The colors and textures sang out to me. Other favorite artists are Vasudeo Gaitonde, Frida Kahlo, Jan Sitts, Da Vinci’s drawings…there are just too many to list.

8. What advice would you give to other artists?
Keep going! You never know what you might discover in that next piece of art you begin.
9. Contact details if any?