Internal Contemplation

How artist Karen Folgner finds freedom of expression in the abstract.

  • Category
    People
  • Written by
    Jill Layman

Similar to many artists, Karen Folgner’s passion for art began at an early age with the discovery of her talent for accurately portraying representational subjects. However today, the Hillsborough artist enjoys the freedom of abstract painting—applying thick layers of paint on canvas or wood panels to create her signature impasto quality.

“I love gestural motions that allow my paintings to explore the mind through color and texture,” explains Folgner, whose work is currently featured at A.Space Design Gallery in Menlo Park.

“My current body of work is an abstract representation of internal contemplation using oil paint to emphasize points of the mind.”

Using palette knives, brushes, and other techniques, the artist applies paint as a three-dimensional material. Indeed, her expressive use of strong texture and movement have caught the eye of collectors across the country.

Folgner continues to grow as an artist, supplementing her Business Marketing degree and years in graphic design with studies of art history, color, and figure drawing, as well as working with other contemporary artists who continue to inspire her development. Folgner juggles art classes and studio time with the demands of raising three young children with her husband, Mike, a repeat start-up entrepreneur.

“My current body of work is an abstract representation of internal contemplation using oil paint to emphasize points of the mind,” she says. Even though she is inspired by intuitive concepts, she associates her finished work with the people in her life, often naming the piece after someone.

“At times the mind can clear intrusive thoughts—at other times, anxieties can produce internal chaos,” she notes. “Each piece holds a place in time—a particular state of mind—that it impersonates.”

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