Painter Karen Perl is after shifting, transitional moments. She paints—and repaints and then paints again—the same street corner, say Western and Clybourn or Touhy and Western in Rogers Park, until she feels the matter is settled. She’s been at it for a few decades. “I want to paint the emotional connection, that nostalgic feeling,” Perl says. “I like the way you can manipulate a painting to make a scene a little more magical.”
Lately, she’s wandered into unfamiliar territory, trying to get at her personal emotional
response—what “turns her on.” Her landscapes of beautiful brick buildings are veiled by a fog of gray paint like faintly recalled images obscured by the haze of a dim memory.