Back to the Rivers
See www.avant-garde-art.com. Karen Halbert works in a tradition that springs from the French Barbizon School. French Barbizon painters had moved from the city of Paris to the countryside and were painting in situ, and directly from nature for the first time in art history. Isolating in Arizona during the pandemic, Karen misses her second home, Santa Fe, New Mexico. She recalls painting plein-air along the Santa Fe river creek. "Being there,” she says, “is a welcome respite from today’s madness." Here in New Mexico, the arts of both traditional Pueblo and Hispanic communities are rooted in the belief that landscape is sacred. In her series of pictures, Return to the Rivers, Karen Halbert embodies an identification with the land as a creative font that goes back centuries in this State, but that is also a universal theme. The title of her series is a reference to the mystical holy rivers of the Himalayas. Karen recognized that returning to the rivers of New Mexico, where she has always re-connected with a feeling of joy and profound inner peace, has been the core reality driving her art. Painting in plein-air, always close to the rivers she loves, Karen Halbert creates her own authentic art; art that is an experience, not an object, out of a fully realized sense of place. In this liminal time of turbulence and change, Karen’s mantra for us all is, “May your pilgrimage begin with the rivers."
Karen will donate 25% from the sale of any paintings from her website during the pandemic, and resulting from this post to Taos Art Museum at FECHIN HOUSE.