Karen Tompkins

About Artist: For artist Karen Tompkins, her work is a way of experiencing the ordinary in life as extraordinary. “It is the Zen aspect of seeing things in their essence—as if for the first time—that propels [my] work,” says Tompkins. This awareness has led her to investigate both the simplicity and complexity of forms, such as soap bubbles and formations of ocean foam, through various media. Inspired by the famed 19th-century American painters of nature such as Frederic Edwin Church, Martin Johnson Heade, Thomas Cole and Thomas Moran, Tompkins says, “Where these artists worked on a grand scale, my work seeks large themes in the small; the universe in a grain of sand.” Her work is process-oriented; she develops a series of images in different media and examines the architecture of nature, its scale and patterns.

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