About Karen Hunter McLaughlin

Karen in a lifelong Philadelphia artist currently working in painterly monotype prints. Read more about her work and history HERE

Karen, lifting a monotype plate for Pricilla is the Rising Sun

My latest work uses the interplay of layers as a representation of growth- both personal and environmental. The work builds upon the movement through layers, from dark depths ascending upward or cascading downward towards open brighter space and helps me portray feelings of progression, and often hope. The progress portrayed alludes to aging, mental health, and personal growth from the perspective of a life lived in one place. Ghosted images both literal and figurative are often used as a metaphor for things (family ties, natural surroundings) long past. The evolution of memories as they change and become galvanized into real and imagined beliefs are recreated by the planes of these intentionally created vistas.

Layering allows the surface of my prints to be built up creating deep depths and rising hopeful symbols. The passage of time is an elemental concept that is represented by the movement through the dark layers obscuring previously visible marks into the open spaces to which they evolve or degrade. The act of corroding rust allows me to create beautiful line and rich area darks with an appropriately decomposing process. It’s work that needs to be made slowly, methodically, patiently. It’s suits me right now. The process is persistent and specific, yet yields amazing surprises. I can steer, but the often unexpected results are exciting and freeing. They compose me as much as I compose them.