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Bainbridge Island
Washington 98110
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Karen Chaussabel

Karen Chaussabel describes herself as "a mixed media artist in the making."

Currently living on Bainbridge Island, Karen originally hails from France. She infuses her work with the nature and countryside of her youth, allowing her life experiences to impact her work.

Karen works primarily in encaustic, pen and pencil, with mixed media. Here she discusses her process, and medium:

I work on paper, creating encaustic monotype, using inks, pencil, fiber for mixed media, and also enjoy the feel of clay. I am an explorer by nature and will try different techniques and materials, just to see. I am very much driven by curiosity. And in the process I find more than one way to express my creative voice. Just like a tree going through the seasons or standing in the light at different times of the day, my voice takes on the tone of its place in time and space.

Encaustic paint is made of beeswax combined with resin and color, in either paint or pigment forms. It is used heated and applied to a variety of surfaces. My favorite surface for encaustic is paper. I make monotypes and also brush [or] draw directly on the paper.

When making encaustic monotypes, I brush warm encaustic on a hot plate, or melt encaustic directly on the hot plate, then I lay a piece of paper over the encaustic and pull it up. I like the next step, the reveal, where I look at what happened on the paper. Colors blended, spread, an image was created from this fluid interaction. The exciting part for me is discovering this newborn image and looking at it, being with the fullness of possibility. I can let it be enough, or I can keep on exploring with it, adding lines with pencils when it is still warm, layering another color, blending them further by rubbing. It is a medium that allows me to practice being open to possibility.

Along with her new landscape work Karen presents a series of fruit- and vegetable-like forms, that give suggestions of the harvest, the heart's attachment to it, light, and summer.

Karen is also a wonderful cook, and occasionally shares her recipes on our Blog, at www.theislandgallery-artblog.blogspot.com.


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