My daily art sessions intersect with contemplating the universal questions: Who am I and why am I here? It is a dialogue between the canvas and me, much like tango with its intimate call-and-response “conversation”.
Working with a vibrant palette of acrylic paints and inks, I approach the canvas with no plan or idea in mind; I work intuitively, making marks or spreading paint randomly. Soon I am in the dance, moving and responding to each new mark and color until I begin to see a direction emerge. Once I see what the canvas suggests, a plan begins to form and I simply follow through. By staying open and present, the painting process is easy and natural. If I start to impose my will on the canvas, however, the dance becomes forced and contrived and the art looks inauthentic or clichéd,
My work is about self-discovery without judgment, and it involves vulnerability. I post my daily painting progress on social media, which exposes my process —and me —before the work is finished. This process engages viewers and invites them to interpret what they see, to relate to it, to comment on it, maybe even to become attached to certain images or nuances. Often, the painting will change, perhaps even completely, and as such; everyone who participates can experience the transformative process of letting go of the outcome or any part of the process. It’s a journey we all take together.
This path of self-discovery has been an awakening of my spirit with the ability to recognize and respond to the spoken and unspoken messages I receive and am bombarded with daily. I am struck by all the messages of what female beauty is or is not and the ways body shaming can occur in our culture, among others. Like my art, each person is a composite of many layers of meaning, and for the most part we only see is the most recent layer.
The creative process I’ve chosen keeps my art honest, true, and authentic. The resulting work signifies a process to self-acceptance and inner peace. I invite you to view my work with an open heart and mind, allowing it to fill you, as you too, find your steps in the dance of self-discovery and acceptance.
Anna Karena does not currently take online orders. Email or call for purchase information.
1720 Northeast Madison Street
Minneapolis, MN 55413
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