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Marks and Shadows: The Art Portfolio of Karen Smith


An abstracted painting of a landscapeAbstracted Landscape (Long Lake), oil and graphite on cradled birch panel

Karen Smith is an artist based in Westminster, Colorado. In her practice, Karen creates sparse abstractions based on a range of subjects including landscapes, people, and objects. Occasionally, the artist also veers into the figurative realm, building up recognizable objects out of carefully placed marks and shadows.


A painting of a shadowy landscape at sunsetGlory, oil on panel

I really enjoy the works in the artist’s Play gallery. These pieces are built up out of a range of mixed media, including graphite, acrylic paint, and crayon, and made on both paper and linen. The emphasis on negative space in these pieces creates a look and feel that’s quiet and contemplative, but at the same time playful -- as the name of the series would suggest.


A screen capture of Karen Smith's art websiteThe front page of Karen's art website

 

In her Things and People galleries, Karen takes a similar approach to building images, adding lines and shadows that elevate patches of negative space into clear volumes -- faces, bodies, and objects. In Things, the slight diffuse effect of gouache on paper creates a dreamlike, impressionist appearance.


A painting of a plate and forkLight


About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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