Karen Barrow

Barrow Art

About the Artist



Karen Barrow

American- Detroit, Michigan    


Born in Detroit, Barrow grew up in East Lansing, Michigan, and now lives and works in Naples, FL.  


An award winning artist as a teen, Barrow began painting in 2001 after raising her three children. She then attended Ringling College of Art & Design where her painting was included in “The Best of Ringling” juried show. She worked as an Associate Curator and Art Director for Naples area galleries while continuing to paint full time in her studio. Her work evolved from primitive figures to mixed media collage and bold paintings.  


Pulling inspiration from her upbringing in the auto-manufacturing hub of Mid- Michigan and family weekends spent at Sebring International Raceway, Barrow focuses on the relationships that develop between people and cars. Her work layers images from vintage auto brochures, her own photographs, stencils, paint, mediums and sometimes auto parts.


Borrowing some of her painting techniques from German artist Gerhard Richter, Barrow layers and scrapes clear mediums and paint, allowing chance to play an important role in her process. She combines the technology of digital photography and the broad strokes of the action painters to create her own digital expressionism.  Her work encourages a reflection upon your past . Memories of the first car you drove, the one you took to homecoming, the one you always wanted, the one you saw taking the checkered flag...these machines tell the story of one’s life. Memories are passengers in our cars.

photo by Mila Bridger -milabridger.com