Karla Van Vliet is a painter, poet, and student of the dream. Van Vliet has long been fascinated with creating meaning and opening places of feeling by generating marks on the page, be it letter or character, dendritic form or simple line and shape. Her work originates from the practice of listening inwardly for what wants to arise and be expressed. From this Gnostic perspective, creation and content rise from the feeling, knowing self. Van Vliet works mainly in acrylic, on canvas and paper and ink on paper. Recently she was inspired to begin a body of work she calls scored paintings; a technique she created. The process incorporates aspects of painting and drawing. She scores the surface of the painting and then applies and removes paint, over and over, as the paint fills in the scoring to create line and form. Van Vliet works with several recurring patterns and images that resonate within her. Another aspect of the paintings is the dialogue between the horizontal and the vertical, a conversation between the world above and world below, the outer world and inner world. These scored paintings have informed her works on canvas where she has integrated this way of working with form, line, and color. She also employs this scoring technique with ink on watercolor paper. The pieces arising from this method have been mini portraitures of women. Van Vliet has utilized these miniatures in larger pieces creating congregations of faces on canvases and also showcased particular portraits in larger mixed media panels. Each creating a mood and conversation with the viewer.
Van Vliet is a Co-Executive Director in the organization North of Eden, which works to bring Archetypal Dreamwork to the world. She is the Director of the Center for Archetypal Dreamwork, where she teaches a class called Art and the Practice of Presence. As well, she offers individual Art and Practice of Presence sessions. She also leads Art and the Practice of Presence Retreats at the North of Eden Retreat Center in northern Vermont and runs the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Middlebury College. She formed Van Vliet Arts in 2005 as a way to bring together her artistic endeavors. She studied art at Bennington College, received her BA from Goddard College and received her MFA in Poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts.