Karen Kalkstein

www.karenkalkstein.com


My artwork is about the colors, textures and rhythms of the natural world: birth, growth, death, decay — the earth with its hidden secrets and obvious grandeur.


In Vermont I enjoy collecting pieces of bark shed by the birch trees in winter. It’s a just-for-fun activity, the way collecting shells on a beach can be. I began to use bits of the bark in my collage work. They proved so varied and enticing that I made whole collages of only the bark. Then I discovered wasp nests, constructed and abandoned in multiple paper layers. And they found their way into the collages, adding a linear element like drawing. Other materials---feathers, little stones, torn bits of old work and newspapers---became elements that I could “paint” with. This is my most recent work: Textured, mixed media “Paintings”.

 

"Woods # 3," 2018, collage with birch bark, wasp nest, feathers on panel, 12" x 12"
"Woodlands #3," 2018, collage with birch bark, wasp nest, feathers on panel, 22” x 14”
"Woodlands #23," 2018, collage with tree bark, wasp nest, feathers on panel, 24” x 18”
"Woodlands #22," 2018, collage with tree bark, wasp nest, feathers, stones on panel, 24” x 18”
"Woodlands #21," 2018, collage with birch bark, wasp nest, on panel, 24” x 18”
"Woods # 7," 2018, collage with birch bark, wasp nest, on panel, 12” x 12”
"Hand Sewn Studies," 4 of 132, 2017, hand sewn collages of mixed media, each 4” x 4”