The Lionheart Five: An Interview with Karen Vogel

The Lionheart Gallery
Jun 7, 2017 4:56PM

Five questions we ask every artist.

1. Name one of your most defining moments as an artist.  

KV: My Mother introduced me to painting at a young age. I was immediately smitten by the smell of oil paint, the feel of applying paint to canvas even the ritual of washing brushes afterwards. This passion was both inspiring and evocative and then I repeated the epiphany when I discovered printmaking. At The Center for Creative Printmaking. I was introduced to a range of printing processes and loved the layering, the quick representation of imagery, texture, and patterns.

Karen Vogel in her studio, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

An example of the printing process, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

2. Do you collect anything?  

KV: My art reflects my creative compulsion to deal with ideas that build on culture’s past and present experiences, often reflected in organic imagery and layered expressions. So, of course I am a flea market junkie – seeking, time-worn, paint pealing furniture and curious objects that serve as visual references.  

The other passion is plant material. My garden is an experimental plot of unusual one of kind, trees, shrubs and rocks. I plant in layers combining texture, pattern, form, color  and perspective. Creating garden rooms which become constant source of visual information changing with the seasons.

Trinkets from a flea market, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

Karen Vogel's garden, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

3. If you could choose anyone—and we mean anyone—whom would you pick as a mentor?  

KV: Frank Stella, whom I think is one of the most influential nonrepresentational artists of our time. Representing the basic elements of an artwork, his work vibrates with the sound of a symphony. I love the crazy patterns, bold color, dimensionality and volume of shape. It makes me want to jump in go for a ride.

The Fountain, Frank Stella, 1992

4. What’s the most indispensable item in your studio?  

KV: My own Takach press close at hand to empower me; stacks of paper for its tactile qualities; an Exacto knife because it has no digital replacement; and of course, an NPR station to pierce the loneliness with thoughtful conversation.

X-Acto knife, scraps of paper, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

Printing press, Photo Credit: Karen Vogel

5. Tell us about one piece of art in this exhibition. You might describe your inspiration, your process, the title, what the work signifies to you…  

KV: “Roma” reflects the edited simplicity I seek – the essence and purity of an image. The rough surface, incised lines and flat black areas creates a tension in the surface imagery and yet invites me to draw myself into the piece.

Roma, Karen Vogel

The Lionheart Gallery