About me.

Hi! I am Anna Maria Karolak and I am an artist from Warsaw. I specialize in illustration, oil painting, tempera painting (with gilding), graphic design and web design. I work as a freelancer.

My services:

  1. Karolak Art – this website, my artworks – the Winner of Web Guru Awards in 2017
  2. Karolak Web Studio – building HTML / WordPress websites
  3. Diplomas Lux – metal prints – beautiful gadgets
  4. Society6 – here you can buy my art

About my painting:

I create oil paintings in the techniques of the old masters and tempera paintings – egg tempera on wood in the techniques of medieval painting (also with relief and gold flakes in the painting’s fragments).

The concept ‘the painting techniques of the old masters’ means that I practice the painting recipes used in ages past, so the painting recipes tested throughout the ages – paintings are prepared in such way will survive the passage of time. I draw upon the original, old recipes for the preparation of supports for the paintings (canvas or panel). I use sterling, durable painterly pigments and the same kind of varnishes and painting media. It guarantees that a paining will last ages and remained the same unless it experiences physical damage as a result of some random accident. If this, however, doesn`t happen, each of my paintings will survive longer than the person who
commissioned it and will remain in the family for further generations. For some it is worth to capture a memory of an ancestors or a state of their own soul in an painting that will last forever… I personally choose a frame to each of the paintings.

About creating this pastiche:

The work was painted basing on the original at the National Museum in Warsaw. Technique: egg tempera, relief and flakes of 24k gold. Painted on wooden two centimeter thick panel. Dimensions: 84 x 35 cm.

The panel was covered with fourteen layers of gypsum primer made strictly in accordance with medieval technology. The primer after drying has been carefully polished. Then, in the already dry primer an ornament has been carved on its top by means of steel needle and needle files. The ornament after its polishing was covered with a specialized background (red colored – Armenian bole) being the base for the final application of gold flakes. This background ensures proper adhesion of the applied layer of gold. The technique of gold-laying, gilding strictly corresponds to the recipes of fifteenth-century gilding technology. After application of gold flakes on the primer when these flakes slightly dried up, they were polished with a boar tusk.

The remaining parts of the work (smooth, not carved surface of the painting) were saved for the painting. The image was painted in egg tempera technique, meaning that the color pigments were mixed with egg yolk from natural country eggs (yolk from farm hen eggs is not suitable.) This painting technology is the most durable of all-natural painting techniques known to man. An oil painting cannot possibly compete with such an image.

When the painting process is finished I cover the surface with a protective varnish made on the basis of shellac (seed lac) – also according to the formula of a medieval painting technology.

Visually, the work is not a copy of the original. It is a pastiche. Since I have enriched the original colors of the work, giving it a more expressive colouration. Because the original is quite dim in color and in some parts has the quite dull gradation of colorful shades. I also altered the face of the angel, giving him a more expressive and anatomically correct features.

Magical realism in my art:

– A long time ago I wrote about me, about my works:

(…) Anna Karolak refers most often to her work as magical realism, which is fantasy as being understood in a particular way. Her works are on one side a conglomeration of her interest in the world of mysticism, and on the other a result of her scientific knowledge in the field of astronomy and cosmology. It is also inspired by the art of electronic classical and classical music. The artist’s paintings are characterized by an excellent workshop, with its main advantage being an unusual illusory attention to detail. (…)

(…) In the context of interpretation and development, the artist’s work presents the link between the past and the future. The painting techniques from past centuries, are enriched by the artist’s own technological inventions, have been harnessed to participate in the creation of a unique vision. Those pieces are timeless in the deepest dimension of the word. The artist can easily glide between the world of spirit – and that of matter, giving her ‘scientifically’ based works a quaint metaphysical nature. These works, in the many dimensions of meanings and interpretations, are on the one hand derived from tradition of symbols, religion, archetypes, and on the other are based firmly on science, including the already mentioned astronomy. The artist is passionate about such issues as the scope of cosmic evolution, the problem of Time, or the quantum theory.

The scientific references are however reflected in the works very subtly. It’s an art of symbol and metaphor. It is characterized by the dynamic evolution of the artist’s style, and these changes can be seen in the recent work of Anna Karolak’s digital art. The colors of her work are deepening, and the themes are the visualization of her ‘scopes of metaphysical experience’. This art though ‘cosmic’ is becoming more ‘spiritual’. Anna Karolak emphasizes that her works are in an important aspect ‘musical’. Thus underlining the significant impact of music the artist listens to while working on the process of creation, including works by Klaus Schulze, Lisa Gerrard,  J.M. Jarre, Constance Demby or Carbon Based Lifeforms. These are the creators of music ‘from other dimensions’, the closest to our artist’s artistic sensibility.

Anna Karolak’s work, this conglomeration of inspiration and meanings, escapes simple classification. Symbolism, fantastic realism or magic realism are fields to which in some respects, this work belongs. The artist avoids decisive classification. Defines her work as belonging directly to other dimensions, is defined as the result of careful thought and quiet contemplation. It is art not touched by time but held over it, like a sensitive instrument used for recording the echoes of ancient truths manifested by the subconscious, is the art of wandering through the meanders of the soul and the cosmos… (…)

My illustrations to the poetry of Charles Baudelaire:

I am an illustrator of Charles Baudelaire`s poems. Here you can download the electronic book ‘Remerciements – Les Illustrateurs de Baudelaire’ of Professor Ivan Bernier from Université Laval in Québec. I was featured in this book as one of the world`s illustrators of Charles Baudelaire`s poems.

‘Cosmic trees’ and music:

‘morphosyntax – architectonic’ by Dariusz Skonieczny to my ‘Cosmic trees XXV’ from the ‘Cosmic trees’ cycle of illustrations – part II.

More about me on my blog.

To contact me, please fill out the form below or send me an e-mail.