I paint. a lot. I draw too. But I mostly paint. I paint almost anything (and almost anywhere) but I am particularly known for painting cows - lots and lots of cows. These can be seen here. I have also been known to paint birds. Recently, however, I have been flooded (and this isn't the right word but for now it will have to do) with rabbits.
Last year at this time, I was selected to give a presentation at the University of Minnesota conference titled, Speak! The Quality of Interactions Between Humans and Animals. While preparing my presentation, I noticed a common theme. We, artists, rely on these. It is one way of making sense of our inner world.
One thing that cows, birds and rabbits have in common is that we are all familiar with them. No matter where we live, more than likely we usually all have access to these living beings. Cows, birds and rabbits can be found almost anywhere. And, more importantly, we usually observe them in groups: herds, flocks or colonies, in this case.
Another theme or thread of commonality in my work (when painting cows, birds or rabbits) is expression. I love bringing an individual personality to life. Each and every piece I create has a story to tell and this is usually revealed in my subjects' eyes and posture.
I hope my work reminds the viewer that although every individual in more than likely to be part of a group, they are also, most importantly, a unique individual. Perhaps these groups of animals we sometimes overlook because of how often we see them, can be seen differently. Perhaps instead of noticing colonies, we'll start to notice individual quirks and idiosyncrasies in each being which are all necessary when creating the whole.
Kari Maxwell works out of her studio in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is represented by galleries in Iowa, Minnesota, Montana and Wisconsin. Close to two years ago, Maxwell opened The Create Everyday Classroom, a physical space where she teaches an intuitive approach to art for all ages. She also works as a creative consultant and coach.