Karen Stabenow, ... temperatures, time ….. mountains …, oil on Masonite, 3" x 12"

American, b. 1948, playing from Philadelphia, PA, USA

I was a 15-year student (1965-1980), of Sterling Strauser a modernist painter who lived in East Stroudsburg. Although Strauser had no formal academic training in art other than drafting, he painted prodigiously and drew freely on the art of the past as well as on Euro-American modernist art movements of the twentieth century. His legacy is embraced in my approach to painting, subjects, techniques, and palette. My work is also largely influenced by the works of Mark Rothko.

My earlier subjects were scenes from Scandinavia, Philadelphia and pueblos in New Mexico. My current work which encompasses the past two decades is all about the world around us, our planet, our relationship to the environment, and the interface of urban and nature; and land and sea.

New series on “The World”. A collection of paintings based on global maps, which provides a new perspective from the standard geopolitical world maps. By stretching and compressing land mass features that are familiar, one is confronted with new insights and emotions about our world.

Rime of the Ancient Mariner in Seven Parts based on the poem by Samuel Coleridge. This painting contains seven individually framed panels. The poem is powerful and the painting is intended to capture the essence of this poem and our world today in seven panels. I exaggerate color for my own purposes, and use brooding dark bluegrays juxtaposed with chalky whites, or enliven with vibrant flashes of rich hues.

Seascapes. Interface of land, sea and atmosphere. Currently much of the world’s population lives in coastal regions. The interface of the land and sea has a powerful influence on settlement patterns and emotional sense of place.

Thoughts on the Telephone process

I thought it was fun. I studied the original work and tried to make sense of the challenge. Of course I saw references to nature in the work and brought to this my concerns about the global community and the challenges ahead with climate change. I have a series of paintings I call the World Series. I will be adding to this. And this Telephone challenge has opened the possibilities of exploring a more geomorphological approach to my concerns and vision. Thank you for the experience.

Print by Jef Ralston