In the Studio: Process of a Painting with Karen Ann Myers

Karen Ann Myers’ (NAP #100) series of scantily clad, young females rest on their beds, but seem unrested and uneasy.  They look to the viewer in a confrontational and semi-seductive manner, as if being photographed or watched voyeuristically—thus positioning the viewer in an awkward role as the voyeur getting a glimpse into or playing an active role in the intimate space of these young women.

1. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 20
Karen Ann Myers, "Geo Stripe" (36" x 24", oil on panel), 2012.

Her subjects have been described as “troubled figures” and “virginal lovelies,” though honestly, to me, they quite poignantly and sharply depict young adults.  Isn’t that what your later teenage and twenty-something years are?  Awkward, sexual, daring, shameful, richly emotional, and totally complex… and Myers captures all of this quite accurately, beautifully, and seamlessly.  There is a quietness in her compositions, despite the loudness of the geographic textiles, wooden floors, and colored walls.  And it is a pleasure to explore them all. - Ellen C. Caldwell, Los Angeles Contributor

In this series, Myers captured her step-by-step 20-day painting process behind “Geo-Stripe,” beginning with the sketch below.

 2. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 1-0
3. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 1-1
6. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 3-1
4. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 2
5. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 3-0
7. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 4
8. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 5-0
9. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 5-1
10. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 6-2
13. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 7-5
12. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 6-7
11. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 6-5
15. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 8-5
14. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 8-1
16. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 9-1
17. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 11-1
18. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 12-1
19. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 13-0
21. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 14-0
20. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 13-1
1. Karen Ann Myers Geo Stripe Day 20
Karen Ann Myers, "Geo Stripe" (36" x 24", oil on panel), 2012.

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Karen Ann Myers earned her MFA in painting from Boston University.  In her own words, she is “investigating the psychological complexity of women through intimate observations in the bedroom. The work is inspired by the cult of beauty in contemporary mass media. Intricately painted, decorative interiors are invented to titillate the viewer.”

Her most recent gallery show A Room of Her Own, just closed in November at Southeastern Louisiana University Contemporary Art Gallery, but Myers already has two shows scheduled for the coming year: This is What Makes us Girls at Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery and Mouthful of Diamonds at Robert Lange Studios, Charleston, SC.

Ellen C. Caldwell is an LA-based art historian, editor, and writer.