Artist Statement: I did not spend my early years in a studio, instead, I witnessed the unbridled creativity of children, most of whom were mentally and physically challenged in some way. Together we explored collage, sculpture, drawing, painting, line, shape and value. We expanded our senses with textures and colors. We altered materials to make them accessible. The process of creating was our emphasis. I now spend my days in an art studio painting, creating, pondering and reaching back to those days of childlike abandon. The fundamentals of line, shape and color as well as the tradition of landscape painters who came before me inspire me and my art.
Artist Bio: Karlene McConnell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art Education from the University of Central Florida in 1983. She is a former Special Education Art teacher and Musuem Curator. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows from New England to the Miami art fairs. Her art is included in several corporate and private collections including Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, NY and the permanent Lemerand Collection at Daytona State College, FL.
"McConnell uses her experiences of the real world to recreate the joy, excitement and even the magic of a walk in the woods. When she is "in the zone" she is exploring the interaction between vibrant colors or making simple marks that mimic nature and are pleasing to look at. Harking back to Matisse, we hear a similar theme: Composition is the art of arranging in a decorative manner the diverse elements at the painter's command to express his feelings. This is about as close to a manifesto that we can imagine for the wild beasts (Les Fauves never wrote one) and it applies to McConnell as well. This kind of painter makes no effort to desaturate or blend but allows pure color, even discordant ones, to ring out at a maximum intensity." - James Murphy, PhD