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  • Writer's pictureKaren Lembo

Beneath the Surface, 2023

Living in a world that tries to paint every situation black or white, right or wrong, everyone feels pressured to choose sides. This oversimplification threatens our spirits and the fabric of who we are as a society.

Nature, however, doesn't come at us with a blow horn and won't be rushed. Rather, Nature seeks to heal, gently beckoning a contemplative soul to come take a closer look. It reminds us that there is a delicate beauty in the complexity intertwined between layers and textures, particularly those things hidden beneath the surface.

Lately I have been experimenting with real and implied texture in some of my paintings, layering pages of my journal, bits of collected leaves and twigs, tissue paper and modeling paste beneath the surface, then layering color in acrylic glazes. The scenes require I become increasingly observant, while selectively simplifying the composition and details so as not to overwhelm myself or the audience! In making these paintings, I am forced to slow down, and I intentionally invite the viewer to do the same.

In choosing this particular image, I am struck that I am like this swampy pond--there is much more to me than you'll find in a cursory encounter. I prefer that people take time to look closer--at me, at my art, at the world around them, at one another, and may you find healing in the process.

"Being present in the woods requires something of us, something you can't rush the soul through. It demands transition and presence." --John Eldredge, Get Your Life Back

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