The combination of colors and shapes of these sculptures are based on theories that relate to three very influence art movements. One of the movements that influence these 3-D pieces is the De Stijl art movement, which was a Dutch artistic movement founded in 1917. Another influence is from the theories of, Bauhaus, a legendary school of the arts founded in Weimar Germany that existed from 1919 to 1933. The oldest influence on these sculptures is from Chinese, Feng Shui. Feng Shui is a Chinese system of aesthetics, which originates from 4000 BCE. These sculptures are playful and appear childlike. Although the use of shapes and colors are playful the concepts used within this structures have deeper meaning.
The painting “Mexican Vendor,” painted 4 years ago was really the starting point for the series of paintings on which I’m now working. My subject matter moved from figures on the beach to boats and ships and I’ve been concentrating on marine subject matter on the beach and in the water in Puerto Vallarta and Isla Mujeres, Mexico and in Nice, Avignon, and Cassis, France. During the summer I traveled to the south of France and took hundreds of photos of the marinas specifically as possible subject matter for both oil and acrylic paintings. I find myself alternating between traditional painting techniques to the use of heavy impastos and to my own technique of color mixing with the mixed media of acrylic and oil pastel.
My 3-dimensional work has been the creation of raku-fired “garden gods” and raku-fired wheel-thrown vases. I’ve also returned to the marine life subject again by creating a series of raku-fired fish.
Karen Doty is an artist and designer who lives in Des Moines, Iowa. Originally from Colfax, Iowa, she has found inspiration in the landscape and people who surround her. Karen enjoys working with gouache and acrylic washes followed by ink overlay. She works with a colorful palette and will often work with many layers of paint.
She began her career in 2007 after graduating from Truman State University with a Bachelor of Fine Art in visual communication and a Bachelor of Art in journalism. She received a Master of Fine Art in graphic design at Iowa State University in 2015. In addition, she is currently working toward a Ph.D. in Human-Computer Interaction scheduled to graduate in Spring 2017.
Karen enjoys using elements of graphic design and photography in her fine art pieces. Her work is often inspired by the places and people she feels a connection with. Karen works as an adjunct professor of art at Simpson College and Grand View University.
You can find more of Karen’s work at her website at www.karendoty.com.
I’ve never pit fired pottery using the method I learned this last summer when taking a workshop outside of Ogden at Flock 9 Studios. I’ve always done pit firing in a large hole dug in the earth with various combustible materials. The method we used in Ogden was an above ground firing chamber made from bricks that was stocked full of wood, sawdust, straw and paper. It was lit on fire and then covered with an old car hood.