Karen Tunnell was born into a family of artists and has been drawing, painting and stitching most of her life. Karen studied art at the University of South Florida and the Atlanta College of Art. She also studied textile art at Penland School of Crafts, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, John C. Campbell Folk School and Snow Farm, The New England Craft Program. These days she teaches workshops, occasionally, at those same schools.
Early on in her career, Tunnell began working with architects and designers to produce site-specific textile commissions. Since 2000, her work has been focused on marbling on paper and fabric.
" By creating my own patterns, I have a unique basis for collage. The undulating, 3-D effect of Spanish Wave marbling suggests surreal, vaguely disturbing visual stories. These patterns suggest turbulent, violent forces and become the perfect starting point for work that expresses my concerns about climate change.
I combine various papers and fabrics into larger pieces then paint, draw and stitch to add depth, detail and drama," Tunnell explains.
Her studio is currently at the Goat Farm Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia.