The last few weeks have been Mixed Media Weeks for me. This really is how I play with paint. When I have a nice stretch of time for this kind of creative work, everything goes into mixed media mode. My living room becomes my mixed media studio, with my painting set-up and drying table in one corner. I set up another table for collage work. And it's lovely to sit on the sofa and comb through my papers and photo images and old magazines and quotation files to find the things I want to incorporate into my paintings.
These two paintings include two of my favorite quotations by Nikos Kazantzakis, the author most well known for writing Zorba the Greek. Long ago, I studied Zakzantzakis's work with Thanasis Maskaleris at San Francisco State, and was able to meet his wife, Eleni Kazantzakis, so I feel a double connection to them (I love what they mean, too, obviously). I've been long wanting them on my walls, and decided that finally this was the time for it.
This kind of work is a layering process. You just keep adding things until it feels right — and the layers make the work more and more interesting. I like to think of it as reverse archeology — the discovery process happens as you add layers, rather than as you dig down through them. Because you can't predict how things will look, you learn to go with the flow in a way that is harder for many people when they try to paint realistically. That's why I love teaching this kind of painting — it helps people tap into their deepest creative selves without critical interference. And, after all, that is when you really feel the joy of creativity.
Karen Lynn Ingalls
I am a working artist in Napa and Sonoma Counties, in northern California. I paint colorist landscapes of rural California, teach art classes, workshops, and private lessons, live in Calistoga, and have my art studio in Santa Rosa, California.