We had the good fortune of connecting with Karen Mosbacher and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Karen, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?

As long as I can remember, I have been drawing and sketching… everything—things, people, nature, sounds, feelings, emotions, and especially music. My father was a classically trained pianist who became a very well-known jazz pianist in the late 40’s. During my life at home, I would lie under his piano and draw the brilliant colors, shapes, textures, and movement I “saw.”

The type of synesthesia that causes me to experience more than one sense at a time. I have, among other types, chromesthesia. When I listen to music, I see color, shape and texture moving with the composition of the instruments, and even see residual shapes as the music quiets. This happens when the music is over, and my brain is still processing the visual stimulation.

The visceral depth of music and sound in my body is a welcoming experience and one I must share. I became a painter because I had to express what is in me. For me, expression is everything. It is not easy to become a full-time fine artist and the work is physically and mentally demanding. I cannot imagine living any other way.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?

Fresh out of art school I became a successful graphic designer and children’s book illustrator. I had my own company with terrific clients and enjoyed the work immensely. Still, something was missing. I missed painting; painting large. Painting was in my bones and soul and the process was exhilarating and energizing to me. In my spare time, I painted commissions and many pieces for fun and realized it was what was missing… it was what I had to do full time.

Making the leap to a full-time professional studio artist is not easy. It is like running as fast as you can to the edge of a cliff and jumping off with absolutely no idea what awaits you. Hopefully, some wings to fly. The profession of a gallery artist is more than a full-time job. One must have pure grit, and one must do the work, every single day.. Also, a sizable inventory helps me keep up with my gallery sales.

When I make a body of work, about 25 – 30 paintings, I feel ready to approach galleries. Finding the right fit in a gallery is also another full-time job. Making submission to galleries is an art in itself. Keeping inventories at good levels, communicating with your galleries, finishing, packaging, and shipping are very time-consuming parts of my day. And, very rewarding. The gallery opening nights are the celebration of all the hard work.

Since I have an extensive design background, abstract expressionism was a natural genre for me. Also, I have synesthesia, or specifically chromesthesia. I see sound in color, shape, texture, and movement. I paint music. I paint classical music, real jazz, new music, poetry, and recently, rhythms. My current body of work is called, “The Alchemy of Gesture, that will show at G44 Gallery in May 2022.

My work is full of color, line, shape and texture as I paint what I “see” when stimulated by sounds and emotions. My studio work is a deeply ingrained part of who I am, and I can hardly wait to get to my studio every single day.

How did I get to this place in my profession? By doing the work. Sketching, making studies, working out the color palettes, building the canvases or panels, painting, and painting, and painting, finishing, photographing, marketing, and marketing some more, packaging, shipping, and learning the fine art of pricing.

Most importantly, I am always in search of fine tuning my voice, my brand, and who I am as an artist. Today, I run my own business as a full time professional abstract expressionist. My work feeds my soul and I truly enjoy the collaborations in which I am painting and building some incredible friendships.

One collaboration is with the Pike’s Peak Region Poet Laureate, Susan Peiffer, where I paint live as she performs. The work deeply touches everyone who experiences it. Another, is a collaboration with Colorado College Chair of the Music Department, Dr. Ofer Ben-Amots. I was chosen to be in collaboration of a pianist, a composer, a poet, a brilliant mathematician, a Nobel Prize Physicist to produce an installation for museums called, “The Butterfly Effect”. I have designed a huge installation of double sized panels to be painted on both sides depicting the Golden Spiral, the Fibonacci Sequence, and the musical composition. The piece will travel the world and hopefully come home as a permanent installation in Colorado Springs in the newly renovated City Center.

I live and work in Colorado Springs, and show my work here at G44 Gallery, Kreuser Gallery, also in Atlanta, GA, Oklahoma City, OK, Lyon, France, and many commercial properties. Just in case you’d like to come, I have a show at Cottonwood Center for the Arts in January, Oklahoma City in March and April, G44 in May, and Manitou Springs in June. Hope to see you there!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
A week-long visit from a friend would include a visit to my galleries, a visit to my studio, a hike in the hills of Colorado Springs, a walk through downtown Colorado Springs where there are so many interesting shops and places to hang out, a cup o’ joe or several from Dutch Bros, a drive to Copper Mountain to hike or snowshoe, and a food tour of all the great restaurants in downtown Colorado Springs. We would also visit the Denver Art Museum, the Clyfford Still Museum, the Fine Art Center at Colorado College, and go to a concert at Packard Hall at Colorado College.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
This shoutout is dedicated to my sister, Kris Morgan, for supporting my life in art and loving me deeply for our entire lives, and to my best friend of 29 years, Beth Freeland, for her encouragement and for telling me to paint and to be free.

Website: www.karenmosbacher.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/karenmosbacher

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/karenmosbacherart

Image Credits
LP Photography, Music Box

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