Artist’s Statement

Karen Breunig

My decades old devotion is to color, texture and light and to our stories, past and future. It seems to be the deeper stories, the archetypal ones that interest me now, the stories of yearning, love, belonging, mortality. The practice of painting both fills me with fear and with courage, the courage to approach these very human themes. This paradox has had me in its thrall since my earliest studies of painting.   

My approach is both about pushing and pulling paint, creating layer upon layer of color, only to scrape some off and start again, and also the collaging of pieces of worn fabrics, old wallpapers, torn pieces of old paintings with paint, charcoal, pastel and oil stick. This is how I work. It’s as if I’m putting together what seems like pieces of a puzzle. It is this that draws me to do it over and over again, the piecing together of the confusing, disparate pieces of our stories, the sometimes rich, colorful images with jagged edges, the distant memories. It feels like the way the mind works, memories coming at us in snippets of sound, color, scent, texture. We put together pictures of our past from these puzzle pieces, their accuracy not as important as the emotional weight they carry.