“My painting reflects my minimalist, natural lifestyle.” - Karen Boone
Painter Karen Boone calls herself a “Natural Explorer,” creating environmentally friendly paintings inspired by nature and backcountry hiking adventures. Often she will hike in the wilderness for over a week, carrying only essentials in a backpack - she keeps the weight under 28 lbs, executing paintings of great immediacy; a painter’s snapshot of the environment.
“In 2016 I backpacked in Costa Rica, below the rim of the Grand Canyon, and thru-hiked the John Muir Trail from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney. In 2017 I spent a week hiking the backcountry of Glacier National Park and a week in the Cascades. I do tiny sketches while in the field, then create larger pieces back in the studio. My paintings focus on nature’s powerful colors and energy, often with a figurative quality.”
“I try to make my art supplies as environmentally friendly as possible. I hand-mix archival natural pigments (free of fillers, additives, synthetic preservatives, toxins, petroleum-based pigments and heavy metals) with walnut oil for oil paint, or gum arabic, honey and clove oil for watercolors. I stretch my own canvases using organic cotton and plant-based gesso, (free of horse hooves or rabbit skin). I often use sticks or rocks to move paint on the canvas, a style I call ‘Wild Brushes.’ I have been painting sustainably for over 10 years when I started experimenting with Amish milk paint. My painting reflects my minimalist, natural lifestyle.”
There is admirable consistency in Boone’s sense of mission, which is both socially aware and politically astute, and, even though she speaks in such practical terms, at least of hint of spirituality in her communion with nature.
Boone currently has a show at Rainbow Blossom in the Highlands through the end of February. “It’s a symbiotic relationship because I use their essential clove oil in making my watercolors.” All of the paintings shown here are included in that exhibit. An award-winning painter and graphic designer, Boone has been chosen three times as the Kentucky Derby Festival poster artist, most recently in 2015.
Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Education: BA, University of Louisville , MA, Basel School of Design Switzerland.
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2018 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved