The artist and her brother Billy, running away from home, 1947


At age 6, I discovered Jackson Pollock in the 1949 LIFE Magazine article. I escaped into those endless swirls and knew I would become a painter.  Thrilled with my first oil paintings, my mother disparaged my efforts and my father only said “you’ve got to learn to draw.” I responded to that by drawing constantly, relentlessly.

Decades later, I know that the act of painting must be a balancing act between the “abstract” and the “real”.  I use my own photographs and still life arrangements so that the image represents my own experience; I choose images that haunt me and inspire me.

During the last decade, a perfect storm of factors including major illness as well as the tragic suicide of my husband, have combined to impact my career; I feel a great urgency to restart it.

Karin in her studio in January 2019, before the suicide of her husband.

Karin Helmich, September 2021