From the Artist

I am fascinated by the mysteries of art–the power of visual symbols, the impact of architectural structures, the incredible patterns in nature and the mystical truths found in geometry. I am particularly intrigued by the synergistic effects of combined art forms. This interest culminated in my master’s thesis exploring the connections between color and music. My study traced historical and current efforts by philosophers, scientists, artist and musicians to develop instruments and protocols for artistic and therapeutic multimedia applications.

sri yantra My interests in the mysteries of art extend into both modern science and the unknown. For example, the work of Swiss scientist Hans Jenny in cymatics demonstrates how sound and vibration create physical forms. I am also delving into the paranormal aspects of even more mysterious forms such as crop circles, the Nazca lines and more.

I have studied symbolism for decades, writing dozens of articles on all kinds of symbols and publishing the book Flower Symbols: The Language of Love. More recently I have been studying the connections between mantras and symbols forms in Hinduism known as yantras. These are similar to mandalas though usually less complex. More info on these topics at Vocal Medicine.

The Process of Art

There is nothing as amazing as the process of creation–be that a child, a home, a relationship or a piece of art. I like to push the limits of physical materials and my own imagination. Most of my recent paintings have universe themes or focus on natural elements.

My deepest desire is that the intensity of my process will be captured on the canvas and will in turn energize someone else’s home, office or business. The ultimate goal of creativity is not just to communicate in a visual format but to convey viscerally the feelings of hope, joy and transformation.

I believe that the arts connect us to a deeper source and possess great power for healing. For me, the act of creating art in any form is akin prayer or meditation as a means to form a connection to something greater than myself. My artwork focuses on the exhilaration of being alive as expressed in exuberant color and joyful images. I choose to work in a flowing style with highly liquid paint because this increases the number of variables and therefore the level of excitement and creative chaos in my experiments.

The fluidity of the medium and the resulting artistic decisions that I am forced to make over the space of days or a week as a painting develops will never happen again. Every piece is absolutely and utterly unique. This is something I consciously cultivate. I cannot paint like anyone else and no one else can paint the paintings that I create. Art is not a competitive sport. No one, including me, can never reproduce the exact conditions or the results achieved in a particular painting ever again. Art can be reproduced but never re-created.

Kathleen Karlsen Art Studio

In the last decade I have had over seventy exhibits of my art. I view my process as a continuation of the tradition of the American Color Field painters, a genre I discovered and fell in love with while in graduate school. This tradition is characterized by openness of design and the central role of color, generally emphasizing the joyous energy of life rather than providing social consciousness or depicting concrete physical realities.

My art is in private collections in over twenty states and four countries. My original art and prints have also been donated to non-profit organizations including Habitat for Humanity, the Montana Ballet Company, the Bozeman Food Bank, the Montana Celiac Society, the Bozeman Music Arts Center, Middle Creek Montessori, and the National Breast Cancer Fund.

Paintings, prints and gifts can be viewed and purchased on the Vocal Medicine website. Here’s a sample of one of my celestial paintings depicting the wide, expansive reaches of spaces representing the furthest reaches of the mind and heart.