Artist Statement

I am inspired by everything…the mundane, the extraordinary, the highly 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 worldview.  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 rich 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 medium with oils facilitates this worldview.  The oil paint dries more quickly than normal; the waxy surface can be scratched, gouged, patterned, smoothed over, pressed and stained layer after layer.  This adds incredible depth and texture to a painting and as a consequence enhances the visual experience and challenges the viewer to see deeply.  A quick glance is insufficient.


I like to jest that 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 but they are meant to be bent and broken as needed.  Pushing the boundaries invites innovation and imagination..


Painting is the most rewarding, the most challenging and the most peace inducing experience of my life.

Kari Bell

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