From Noah Becker’s interview with Karen Gunderson for Whitehot Magazine :
NB: Let’s talk about the term “haptic” in relation to your work.
KG: Ok sure, haptic is a sense of touch. And when I paint the black paintings, I am aware of the touch of the paintbrush marks and the light reflecting on those brush marks. There is a kind of synesthesia that takes place, where people look at it and they follow the brushstrokes with their eyes and can mentally feel how it felt to make them.
NB: Where do the brushstrokes come from? Is it an intuitive process?
KG: My brushstrokes themselves come from the place of trying to describe a form in space. Because I’m trying to literally feel what it would feel like to touch the wave or trace an arm with my hand or across a face or any image that I am trying to paint. I was influenced by Chinese painting and I discovered all these wonderful things about Chinese art. Among them were concepts about essence. I try to use a quality of energy that goes with those particular marks that display these different images. . . sweeping strokes for water, short jagged strokes for mountain rocks, gentle slow strokes for flowers, and so on.