"In the purest definition of abstraction, her landscapes, though recognizable, are more about McConnell’s impressions of these natural spaces than a description of the geographic features of the land. She describes her work as “bringing the negative space forward… placing colors in non-traditional situations and simplifying the natural forms.” While she speaks of her work in pragmatic terms, the resulting pieces are experiences, not descriptions, of places she comprehends on a deep and sensitive level.

McConnell’s spaces are ethereal (what sublime rhythms!). Not quite landscapes and not quite non-objective."

 - Fran Gardner is professor of art and art history and chair of the Humanities division at the University of South Carolina Lancaster


Karlene McConnell was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education from the University of Central Florida. She was a Special Education art teacher for several years and then Curator/ Educator for the Ormond Memorial Art Museum in Ormond Beach, Fl.  Karlene currently paints full time in her studio where she creates abstracted landscapes with acrylic paints and graphite.

Artist statement- I take into consideration the tradition of landscape painters before me and those who experimented with color fields, line and space. Trees, vegetation, rocks, water and sky represent constancy, These subjects are abstracted by drawing lines and organic forms with my brush, pulling elements to the surface and pushing them back down under layers of paint. Horizon lines and trees may appear and then be obliterated by color. I explore non- traditional color combinations and let myself react to the areas of negative space in the composition.