Karen Slater

Over the last few years I have been exploring grids. Grids are just intersecting lines, and a computer can do that better than a human – if what you want is consistency. But my hand creates inconsistent lines, with wobbles and uneven spaces. Using oil sticks, the action of hand drawing lines becomes intensely personal, a reflection of my own body’s movements. Filling in between the grid lines produces another quality reflecting human action. Oil sticks are blunt and about 3/4″ thick, not easy to do fine work with. I use my fingers to move the paint around in each space or “cell” of the grid. The “fill-in color,” white or black, intrudes onto the lines, giving them more irregularity, more individual personality.

I make them on different substrates – some on canvas, more on paper. Often I mount the paper on panels, creating a 3-dimensional object. While they are “simple” in concept, visually they possess more complexity as the edges change shape and the areas between the lines develop textures of their own. Each one is different, each has its own personality.

Image featured on this page: Karen Slater, Circles 2, watercolor, 22″ x 30″


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Building 101, Studio 1206



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