Karen Nadeau

Karen Nadeau
acrylic, oil, and chalk pastel artist


Artist Statement

One of my earliest of memories is of holding brush in hand and making lines that made me happy. I remember being captivated by paint: the brilliant colors, the smell of paint on my hands, the peculiar way paint causes paper to ruffle, and the incredible joy of creating.

I have painted since I was old enough to hold a brush. Painting has been the one constant in my life. The aesthetic process of image making has been to me like an ever present whisper, my best friend, and a doorway to great mysteries.

I paint to breathe, to leave myself behind, and conversely to be connected to others and the rest of life. Two primary motives fuel my work. They are of equal importance: to express myself and to reach out and visually share my experience with others.

There is no simplistic way for me to describe my work. It is usually a combination of many different emotions, perceptions, and observations about the natural and man-made world.

The framework upon which my work is built is the universal visual language. I observe a scene or experience something that affects me, then distill its essence and try to describe it on canvas. What emerges from this process is something deeply personal on the one hand and yet also strangely otherworldly to me. In painting, if I step aside, something stirring and spiritual happens and the image evolves without my interference.

Although every piece I do is motivated from a different set of variables, the consistency lies in my integration of movement and linear flow. I love to see patterns of energy and light engage me and hopefully the viewer. If I am unable to convey to others the intended majesty, beauty, intensity, or emotions in my paintings then I feel I have failed to accurately use the elements and principles of art. To this end I work. I hope my work speaks to you on some level.