Kari Bell was born and raised in the North East US. She holds a BA, MA and a PHD and this education was the basis of a 30 year career in Higher Education. Kari lived overseas for numbers of years and travelled extensively when women did not. Art was a regular activity in her life but there was nothing to suggest Kari would pursue this as a second career.
Kari’s work has been in numerous shows including Mayfair (PA), LemonadeStand Gallery (FL), BitFactory Gallery (CO), Greenwood Village Curtis Center for the Arts (CO) and Hangar 41 (CO) among many. She is known locally and sells nationally. In 2016, she was introduced to cold wax medium and oils which is now her preferred medium.
Kari and her wife Sandy live and thrive in Colorado.
“I am inspired by everything…the mundane, the extraordinary, the personal, the broadly public. Color, light and texture inform my work along with a “no fears” approach.
In abstraction, I have found a path to expressing my inner self as well as my world view. To me, everything in the world is interconnected and nothing is permanent. Addressing any situation is, therefore, never black and white. Instead it is a palette full of nuances, possibilities, options and decisions. This is, to my mind, the world and it is my art.
The process of using cold wax with oils facilitates this world view. The oil paint dries more quickly than normal; the waxy surface can be scratched, gouged, patterned, pressed and stained layer after layer. This adds incredible depth and texture to any painting and as a consequence, enhances the visual experience and challenges the viewer to see deeply. A quick glance is totally insufficient.
I like to say I am a recovering academic. Painting, particularly abstraction and the use of cold wax techniques, is a way to break bonds, to move away from the rigidity of academia. Yes, there are rules in painting and they are meant to be bent and broken as needed. Painting is the most freeing, the most challenging and the most peace-inducing experience of my life.” — Kari Bell