Karen Rothman was born in Melrose, Massachusetts. After graduating from Connecticut College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics, she spent a summer studying woodcut block printing at the University of North Carolina. She briefly worked in the insurance industry before discovering her passion for art education. Karen completed courses at the Massachusetts College of Art to become certified to teach art in the Massachusetts public school system.
After a fulfilling career as an art teacher at the East Somerville Community School, Karen’s focus shifted to her own artistic pursuits. She has taken courses in collage, color and design, figure drawing, mixed media, monotype printing, and abstract painting at such art institutions as Maud Morgan Arts, the Massachusetts College of Art, DeCordova Museum School, New Art Center, Danforth Museum School, and the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
Rather than seek a signature style or body of work, what characterizes my work is the unexpected in terms of medium, subject matter, thinking process, and style. I enjoy each piece being somewhat disruptive and different from anything that has come before it. This approach reminds me of how each dream I have is always in an entirely new location, and I enjoy this element of surprise. I draw from nature, the man-made world of architecture, still life, the human figure, and the inner musings of my mind. Although I mainly paint abstractly on canvas and wood panels in oil, I also use acrylic, charcoal, wax pastel, watercolor, collage, and found objects. For the most part, the process of creating is more important to me than the end result. John Murray, my teacher at the New Art Center, states: “Painting is about paint.”