Artist Profile: Karin Batten
Each of my paintings tell a story, a continuous life long poem. The paintings explore the depth of my feelings. Painting is intuitive, I improvise and play on canvas creating abstract forms. Collage materials follow suit until I am guided by the work itself, bringing the paintings to life. My inspiration originates from my social and cultural upbringing, the universe, and my love for the sea and its environment.
Born in Hamburg, Germany, I received my Bachelor of Arts degree at the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England in 1962.
In 1972 I moved to New York City and in 1975 started teaching at Parsons School of Design. I earned my Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College in New York City in 1978.
Throughout my painting career I have supplemented my income by teaching drawing and design and by working as a freelance designer and illustrator in publishing. I first taught at the Parsons School of Design, and then at New York City Community College, from 1974 to 1985. Later I taught at the College of New Rochelle, in New York. Teaching, working with students and designing have all helped refine my thinking. In 1979 Al Loving, Margo Machida and I started and ran the co-op gallery 22 Wooster Street Gallery for four years to give under represented artists a chance to show their work.
Most recently my work is the result of time spent in southern Spain, and northern India. In Spain I had the opportunity to visit the Alhambra palace in Granada and lived in the towns Almuneca and Mojacar where Moorish art and architecture is still visible. In India I visited the Taj Mahal and the Tomb of Itimad-ud-Daula in Agra, built by the Mughal Empire under the architect Jahangir. Islamic Art has taught me about ornamentation, balance, repetition, as well as the overall ethereal qualities inherent in my works. I was particularly mesmerized by the elegance of design, the craftsmanship and colors of the tiles.