April 2020: Mary Lee & Karen Thurman

Mary Lee focuses on abstract painting in encaustic. Words have always been my thing. Reading, writing, editing, printing–all things words. Working in the publishing world: newspapers, magazines, communications, and events brought images into the words, melding photographs with design and color to enhance the textual content.Over the years, as words and images mingled, I have found it clarifying and satisfying to express thoughts and feelings through abstract art. It was a natural transition. My primary art medium is encaustic, where I can layer on colors of wax over wax, scraping back to highlight the shades beneath and adding another coat to enhance the luminosity. Mixed media comes into play as well with image transfers, collage and the incorporation of various found objects.  

Karen Thurman works with fiber. Her inspiration comes from the medium itself – the transformation of fiber into felt. Felt lends itself well to color, pattern, shape, whimsy, and humor – all of which she incorporates into herwork to bring some levity into this world. Karen uses both needle felt and wet felt techniques. Karen studied textile design on both coasts before settling back in her native Oregon. Drawing inspiration from old movies, early morning coffee, and her love of nature, Karen’s unique style plays on the inherent qualities of the natural materials she uses. Her style is bold and unique, and involves laying stacks of felt colors and then felting them together.“Felting is my passion, my compulsion and my joy that accompanies me throughout each day. From the beginning, the process of transforming fiber from a beautiful live animal into cloth has struck me as magical. Over the years, that magical process has had its way with me, leading me from hobby to art. Making felt fills me with a sense of accomplishment, and has proven to be a most amenable vehicle for translating inner vision to outer reality.”