Karin Friedli in her studio

About Me

I paint in response to my daily walks with my dog, in the British countryside, interpreting the landscape in an emotional rather than representational way. I am moved by the way light falls on the land such as on a distant field, over a horizon or on trees in a wood, as well as the vastness and lines created by open spaces. In addition, I am fascinated by the changing seasons and how weather transforms the mood of a place. This provides my visual stimulation, which I translate into my paintings through energetic and intuitive mark making exploring the sense of place in a moment in time.

Nature and being in the open are important to me and is a constant comfort. My relationship with nature is restorative and my paintings explore the connection between the transcendency of nature and a feeling of freedom, tranquillity, and inner peace. My recent work has been influenced by the Covid pandemic, through the realisation that time spent alone in the landscape and away from daily distractions provides a solace. I hope to make a connection with the viewer that touches this emotional space making sense of what it is to be human, reflecting on our struggles and how through quiet contemplation we can achieve a sense of calm and stillness.

My approach to my paintings is experimental and energetic. I love getting my hands dirty and relish the visceral engagement of the surfaces of the paintings. Through multiple layers, I try to reveal the rawness of the landscape and what lies beneath. Using mixed media on canvas, board or paper, I express my emotions and feelings to the landscape by using strong value contrasts, variations in texture, fluctuating amounts of detail, and free mark making. I abstract forms, lines and textures from photographs, sketches and visual memory of my local landscapes. I apply marks loosely and economically, creating textures through splattering and scraping paint with palette knives, bare fingers, rags, hands – and occasionally a paintbrush – in order to explore the many layers of paint and drawn media. My colours are muted reflecting earth tones with small jewels of saturated colour reflecting the light and mood of the place. I keep working on my paintings until I am satisfied that through the building up and removing of layers, I have created a painting that resonates a sense of serenity and solitude.