Karen Michael, born in Sydney, Australia in 1964. Karen studied Law at the University of NSW and practised in Sydney, Melbourne and Los Angeles. Her passion for painting, sculpture and drawing emerged in 2000, when she commenced her artistic endeavours.
Having spent time on drawing (including studying at Julian Ashton Art School) and some time exploring and enjoying three dimensional work, her passion for oil painting was truly ignited during the very inspirational and extending three years spent studying at the Charlie Sheard Studio School. Charlie’s thorough presentation of traditional techniques, from the preparation of the support and making the paints to the examination and practice of the oil painting techniques used by the masters, both old and more recent, provided a solid foundation from which Karen’s own practice developed.
Karen has fully embraced many of the elements she learned during her three years with Charlie Sheard. She enjoys the preparation of the raw Belgium linen, using the purest of materials – cold pressed linseed oil, stand linseed oil, solvent and the finest and purest oil paints. Karen appreciates that her work comprises many elements from the same plant and finds this organic process very fulfilling.
Her latest body of work sees Karen pare back all but the essential; colour and gesture.
Moving away from literal or figurative representations, the works are abstract expressions of the feelings associated with being. The paintings nurture a dialogue between the internal and external environment, eschewing pre-existing ideas of what that environment is, or should be.
Through the use of colour and gestural mark making these paintings investigate passion, intimacy and the inextricable relationship of the marks and the colour to our emotions.