Artist’s Statement

Karen Abboud
Artist’s Statement

The everchanging landscape of life appears to be an ongoing theme of my work.

I grew up in the gulf coast region of Gentilly in eastern New Orleans, close to nature; fishing on bayous, exploring woods, swimming in Lake Pontchartrain. Before I started making art I was exposed to and witnessed nature’s whimsical and devastating effects on things like trees, bodies of water, and land areas affected by storms and hurricanes.

When I began to study traditional, formal painting in college in the mid-1970’s,
I was fortunate to have Ida Kohlmeyer as my painting instructor. As a teacher, she introduced me to different techniques regarding abstraction and mixed media painting,
derived from her time spent studying with Hans Hofmann at his school in New York during the 1950’s. I continued studying painting in graduate school in the 1990’s,
where I discovered Kurt Schwitter’s collages and Robert Rauschenberg’s use of
incorporating found/repurposed materials into his paintings and collages.
I feel the influences of these artists has brought me back into contact with my youthful fascination of nature. Over the last ten years, I have been drawn to working on outdoor subjects, painting and making collages exploring nature’s processes firsthand, and experimenting with a variety of materials and mediums, trying to mirror nature’s everchanging effects on life and things around me.  More recently, in response to an epidemic of calamities, my paintings reflect a draining of imagery from interior and outdoor spaces that were once thriving.

My current work focuses on Change.  I have been using the treasured materials and found objects to create assemblages and sculptures which may bring attention to global political, social and environmental issues and patriarchal system values.

My recent abstract paintings reveal remote or reclusive spaces where one is invited to rest and reflect.  Symbols have begun to reveal themselves during my unintentional painting process, recalling gender assigned objects  and apparel from generational patterned thought, awakening my suppressed resistance.