Contemporary abstract artist Karen M. Andersen works from her home studio on the Fraser Coast in southeast Queensland, Australia. Her childhood was also spent growing up here, in a seemingly eternal summer, exploring the beach and the bush, watching storms come and go in the evening sky. University studies in biology – together with days spent at the beach at Hervey Bay and on Fraser Island with her family – have seen Karen develop a deep affection for the Queensland coast, especially for the sea and the Great Barrier Reef, rich in its cacophony of creatures with mesmerising unique forms, vibrant colours, and rhythmic underwater movements.
As a long-term sufferer of depression and anxiety, Karen also feels a deep calling to share her experiences with mental illness through her art. It is her hope that in doing so, she may contribute to erasing the stigma that still exists around mental illness in today’s society, while helping fellow sufferers to feel validated, worthy, and understood. Painting also allows Karen to explore her feelings about and her reactions to her own illness. It is her therapy – a way for her to process her emotions, to face her fears, to grow in confidence and wisdom, and to heal.
Karen’s lifelong obsession with colour and fervour for experimental and expressive mark-making serve as the vehicles through which she delivers messages of joy, hope, empowerment and determination. She paints instinctively and spontaneously, allowing the paint to drip and run down the canvas. Flamboyant, vibrant hues dance harmoniously around more sorbet, pastel tones, laid down in broad, sweeping planes of colour and accented with daring splashes, dots, and drips of paint. The result is paintings that are evocative, intoxicating and exciting…alive with character, rich in emotion, and imbued with layers of meaning.