I work in mixed media, predominantly with polymer skins, which I form into textile-like structures. Drawing with graphite is primary in of all my work; to begin, I draw out patterns directly onto my high density plastic work table. I then pour self-leveling gel atop the drawings to form irregularly shaped skins; these become paintings absent canvas backing. I play with opacity and translucence and depth that intensify by layering and working on both sides of the skins.
I also work with used tea bag paper substrates, placing lines of tea bag papers over drawings, forming long strips of paper. I coat them with gel and loop them across one another. The teabags’ origami-like patterns fuse with the polymer to create a translucent, fabric-like weaving. On this structure, I can use more tar gel to create depth and another texture.
When these strips are cured and removed from the table surface, the underlying drawings transfer to the paper, and I can layer on additional skins. These strips are then woven and manipulated to form a garment, a shallow wall sculpture hung on custom designed Plexiglas hangers.
This conceptual artistic genre began in 2004 when the curator of the Laguna Art Museum invited me to create murals of skins for large installations in their window facades; this work was completed with material donations from Golden Paints. In 2005, in conjunction with a two-person show at California State Fullerton University’s Grand Central Art Center, I created another large mural of skins.
A multi-faceted artist, Karen Feuer-Schwager currently expresses her emotions, experiences and dreams through a neo-expressionistic style. Whether working on canvas, plexiglas or Polaroid film, her work has a sensual and highly tactile quality that has evolved from techniques developed over a lifetime of making art.
Widely exhibited throughout Southern California, her artistic career began at an early age fostered by her father, a cartoonist. Moving from the studio to classroom, Karen began teaching art after graduation from Temple University in 1965. She has taught classes and provided needed instruction to various institutions as an art-therapist and working with learning disabled children.
Currently residing in Laguna Beach, California, she has lived and exhibited in New York, France and Switzerland.