I have worked as an artist all my life.
Throughout most of my artistic career I’ve focused on nature, especially the sky, as either subject or background for symbolic or mystical paintings. For a decade, while I lived and worked in Hollywood in the 70’s and 80’s, my sky paintings provided temporary backdrops for television and magazine commercials, films, and rock videos.
After I left the Los Angeles area in 1988, I formed my business, SKY ART Karen Kristin, Inc, and switched to a more enduring art form – wall and ceiling murals.
During this phase, the large-scale sky murals I produced provided backgrounds to enhance the architectural spaces in restaurants, hotels, shopping malls and casinos. Highlights of these years were the many trips to Las Vegas and other US cities for shopping mall and casino projects, to India to paint skies on the walls and ceilings of temples and museums, to Macao for the biggest sky painting in the world (252,000 sq. ft. at the Venetian Resort and Casino), and to Japan for sky painting in exclusive residences featuring state of the art décor and entertainment systems. I like knowing that murals such as these will be viewed by millions of people for years to come.
During the decades I’ve traveled to create large-scale murals, I’ve continued painting on canvas in my studio. Some of these works present the sky as the subject while others combine sky imagery with visual “languages” derived from the universal symbol systems of sacred geometry, Taoism, astrology, the Tarot, and Native American culture. My intention when I paint the sky is most often to provide the viewer with a background of calm and beauty against which meditation and insight can occur.
Landscapes, Plein Air, & Animals
Over the past ten years, I have revisited landscape painting using oils, a process I left behind in my late teens when I discovered the mutable and mobile nature of the acrylic medium. The Southwestern environment, wherein I now reside, no doubt inspires this return to a broader portrayal of nature. These days, not only do I set off to local spots to paint direct from nature in the Plein Air style, I also incorporate varied impressions of nature and symbolism into my studio paintings. I have explored the way in which we humans attribute and compare our own strivings to the rest of the animal world. How we see animals beyond their physical forms — as totems, as lovers, as searchers, and as guides — has captured my interest and creative energy.
Now I find myself ready to return to the sky as sole subject matter, intending a deepening exploration of it’s many moods through color and stroke.