If you’re looking for art to make your home a place that you and your friends can enjoy, there is an abstract art sale underway at Slate Gray Gallery in Kerrville, Texas, and Telluride, Colorado.
Among the many talented artists at Slate Gray, Karen Freeman’s original work is hot right now, and collectors both in Texas and elsewhere are starting to place her beautiful abstract expressionist work in their homes.
[Full disclosure: the owner of his site is the husband of Karen Freeman, but her work speaks for itself.]
In this article, we’ll look at her work, and in future articles we’ll look at others making an impact in the Texas Hill Country and Colorado mountains. They include John Self, Sylvia Benitez, and Carol Arnold, to name just a few of the fine artists at Slate Gray.
From childhood, bound to be an artist
Karen has been drawing and sketching since she was ten years old, developing what has been called the Starkey motif, named after her elementary school, where she’d often draw this when doodling in class.
It’s so incorporated into her work now — typically a swooping stroke from upper left to lower right that first bisects the canvas and allows her to interweave concepts among the different sections — that it’s more of a feel now than a recognizable technique.
Early professional influences
Graduating from Texas Tech University with a degree in architecture (and having minored in logic), she first started at the University of Texas in Austin in the architectural engineering program.
Her way of looking at art is inseparable from her way of looking at spaces more generally: the question she asks herself is, “What will make this space into a place, a ‘space with meaning and purpose’?”
Her collectors consider her art beautiful, certainly, but they also find that her work makes different spaces — living room, bedroom, hallways — even office lobbies! — more livable, more home-like, more comfortable.
With her architecture degree, she moved from Lubbock to New York City, where she worked successively at Calvin Klein, A|X (Armani), and Donna Karan. She transitioned to full-time mom for a few years, in which she raised three sons, yet she never stopped painting and drawing.
To full-time working artist
Her time at New York fashion companies, involved in both interior spaces and also store design and construction, furthered the influence of architecture on her painting.
Now, the patient eye will see elevation views turning into plan views and back again; one will see layers and the movement of brushstroke leading the eye around the canvas and letting us rest in one place, and then move to another. But always allowing us to rest.
Thus, her work can make mere spaces feel more like places, like home.
Her work usually tells stories, and it is these stories that are influenced by the stories of her life’s events and into which she invites her collectors.
Abstract art sale | recent collections and upcoming series
For Valentine’s Day, Karen did a series called “Love Letters,” comprising 6-inch square multi-media works.
She now works both in acrylic and multi-media and acrylic, occasionally working in oil as well.
In an upcoming series launching in the coming month, she is introducing a new series interpreting small towns in Texas, booting off a view of the city map and incorporating thematic and geographic elements into the work.
The first in the series, appropriately so, will be called, “Art, Texas,” referring to the unincorporated community east of Mason.
Demand is increasing
The demand for her work, and the joy it brings, is typified by one collector’s story:
Having purchased one of her works at the Telluride location of Slate Gray, he then contacted her through her Instagram account and commissioned a large work for the lobby of his office building, which he owned.
He and others have found that their homes and even offices can feel more like places with Karen’s abstract expressionist art on their walls and hallways.
It turns space into place into home.