Artist Karen Rand Anderson shares a dynamic portfolio of landscape paintings filled with color and energy. Visit her website to see more.
Now nearing my eighth decade, I’m very fortunate to have had a lifetime of being able to pursue my ever-present creative passions, including many different forms of visual art, music and writing.
After a short stint in music school at the age of 17, I was accepted into a top art school. I quickly discovered that I was just one out of hundreds of talented and driven young art students. Drawing and painting were the obvious choices, but by sophomore year, I was called by clay.
After graduating from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in ceramics in 1977, the drive to make art continued to push me into finding new ways to self-express far beyond working sculpturally with porcelain.
As a painter, energetic, intuitive mark-making and an emotional, process-driven approach characterize what I strive to express. Bold color and expressive brush strokes wake me up.
An affinity for landscape and a close relationship with the natural world have continually shown up in my painting and drawing. In the sculptural work from my past, I utilized lots of different natural materials, such as branches, moss, rocks, fleece, shells and bones.
Abstract and symbolic imagery played important roles in my formative years as an artist. I worked with my own personal creative language, filled with symbolism, metaphor and a strong connection to nature.
I loved the vibrant colors and fantastical imagery in the paintings of Chagall, Matisse’s abstracted figures and forms, and the Impressionists and their views of color as light. The emotion and power of Georgia O’Keefe’s modernist works continue to overwhelm me, as does the work of countless artists from different eras and periods of art, both modern and ancient.
I took a ten-year hiatus from art-making when I got married. I built a life with my then-husband, and had two daughters (now grown and successful artists themselves.) During that period, I would think, “I used to be an artist, I went to art school…” The creative passion and questing spirit within me had gone dim. Though I was grateful to be a mother, I had lost myself, in some ways. It was a confusing time, and I am thankful that through therapy, and support from friends and family, I was able to rediscover, rebuild and reclaim the artist that I am today.
After reestablishing myself, I returned to school to get an MFA in studio art. As an older (54!) MFA student, my eyes were opened to the contemporary art world that I’d missed out on in the eighties. Being in art school again was the proverbial kick I needed. My work blossomed.
The drive to visually express emotion has been my mainstay as an artist, as a woman and as a human being. It’s been my guiding light in navigating this ever more confusing and uncertain world. For me, having been able to choose to follow my career as an artist all my life has been a welcome challenge and an incredible gift.