Mixed Media painting by Karen Santos


  • Mixed Media painting, Canvas
  • One of a kind artwork
  • Size: 49 × 37 × 2 in (framed) / 48 × 36 × 2 in (unframed) / 48 × 36 in (actual image size)
  • This artwork is sold framed
  • Signed certificate of authenticity

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Artist's description:

Painting: Oil, china ink and varnish on Canvas.

Chiaroscuro is a technique in art, historically used by artist such as Rembrandt, where the use of lights and darks is exaggerated to create a very compelling effect. As I am also an opera singer, Chiaroscuro also refers to the perfect balance achieved by the singer where the voice is both perfectly light and perfectly dark. I use both meanings of this word in this painting to portray how although sometimes life brings us extremely difficult moments, there is always a majestical balance, and there is always light at the end of dark moment.

My work explores the symbiotic relationship between affects and art.​ On a psychological plane, the human compulsion to articulate our affects is crucial in our social model. Art, in all its disciplines, is the vehicle often used to verbalize our pathos. As a singer and a painter, my work always explores the emotions that stem from the act of singing and creating music. Through the use of mixed media, particularly media that repulse each other such as oil-based and water-based pigments, there is a process where this conflict forces me as the artist to surrender to a loss of control. This removes all inhibitions, thereby inducing the highest level of authenticity. The result is a colourful portrait of a psychological state of a given experience in music: abstract expressionistic snapshots recording various psychological affects, which at times even become a portrait of the music itself. Throughout this process I explore how I express and perceive my emotions, which in turn provokes the viewer to analyze and assess how they are affected by their own perception of each portrait.

Materials used:

oil, china ink, varnish

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