Karen Roth

Artist's Statement

"Welcome To My Studio", acrylic paint, mixed media on canvas

On this site my art is portrayed from the earliest work to the present. The paintings vary from images of the urban environment to landscapes, objects in a room or abstract shapes and forms. One thing, though, does remain consistent and ties all of the work together. They are highly textured rather than sleek and smooth producing artwork that is rough, unpolished, rudimentary and tactile. 

This concept began during the seventies when I lived in Detroit, my hometown. I was very much affected by the decline of the city as it began to change and deteriorate. Beautiful buildings were now on display with facades ripped away exposing walls covered with peeling paint and graffiti. This new reality motivated me to create abstract images that were gritty and raw and that possess an energy that is not present on a surface that is flat and smooth. 

The process involves applying plaster or modeling paste and other material to stretched canvas which is then painted, scraped and scratched repeatedly. The surface can be carved, peeled and built up over and over again in stages to produce layers that evolve naturally from within and change through time. The final result is usually quite different from the original idea.