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What drove me to abstraction!

Updated: Jun 3, 2021

In a previous blog, I talked about listening to documentaries and films on YouTube about art movements and styles throughout history while I worked in my studio. This has resulted in a massive change in my life as a representational painter.

Karen Welsh | Work | 2015 - 2019

One day in August 2019 I decided that the next painting I would do would be with freedom using instinct and excitement inspired by the voices and descriptions I had been listening to over the last couple of years.

Abstract Expressionism was the post-war art movement that excited me - led by the American New York action painters such as Joan Mitchel, Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning and Jackson Pollack and the colour field painters such as Marc Rothko, Robert Motherwell and Helen Frakenthaler.

These painters' work I very much enjoy. The works have soft transitions of colour fading into one another, strong lines and shapes giving movement, quiet areas to give voice to the stronger colours, bold contrasts of tone and hard lines that can be broken and few or dominant and intentional.

Joan Mitchel | Untitled | 1988

Willem de Kooning | Woman l | 1950 - 52

Franz Kline | Vawdavitch | 1955

Marc Rothko | Orange Red and Red | 1962


Now obsessed with painting, I strive for that perfect balance of colour, shape and tone. I live and breathe for painting and the development of new works.

Karen Welsh | Semi-abstract work | 2019 - 2021

I am gradually moving toward total abstraction. Each new painted canvas will either add cohesively to my collection or will be experimental and intuitive the result of which I expect will change my path as I move on. Artists must allow themselves to change and develop and not be imprisoned or held back by themselves or others.

Karen Welsh | Abstract work | 2019 - 2021

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