Karma Kitaj, PhD

My new work, begun when COVID came to the US in 2020, is about the whole range of human emotions elicited by current events and universal experiences. Some of my pictures express joy and amusement; others fear, and degradation. To accomplish this, I paint abstracted images of people drawn from live model charcoal sketches, magazine photos, or my imagination. After years of painting in encaustic and mixed media, I paint now in oil or oil over old encaustic pictures or prepared collaged substrates. I find that oil suits the subject matter, allowing me to use my brushes or palette knives or fingers to get different effects, to paint thinly or thickly, and to get luscious colors where I want them.

My intention is to paint emotional expressions and gestures in active spaces, using texture, pattern, and color that blends from figure to environment and back. The figures are often implanted in a world of their own. I like to create work that suggests a narrative, a story, much as I was fascinated to listen to my clients’ stories as a psychotherapist and life coach or to create characters in my historical novels. I work in series, with focus on portraying human images with brushstroke, color, shape and often with distortion or exaggerated form.

In my early years of painting, I worked abstractly, fascinated by line, color, shape, texture and images gleaned from the natural world. Most of this work was in encaustic, the ancient tradition of painting with hot wax, and in encaustic monoprints. Then I added acrylic to my repertoire because it was so easily manipulated and dried quickly. Oil is my favored medium in my most recent series.

I am available for commissions in colors or sizes of your choice.

Karma Kitaj

617 429 2580