Karen’s Interview with Voyage ATL 9/18/18

I remember thinking when I was 5 years old that when I grew up, I wanted to be an artist. Thankfully, I had the support of my parents who encouraged my dream, sending me to classes and private lessons during elementary school.

My mother was a pianist, and a variety of music was played in my house while I was growing up. Before long, I became interested in 60’s and 70’s rock, and listening to music while making art became a thing. It still is today.

My art school days were heaven. There was great energy in the art department… art was happening in all disciplines, and a lot of it was pretty good. The B-52’s and REM helped to put the UGA art department on the map…and may have helped to up enrollment for a number of years! I studied painting and art history in Italy for a summer and saw the painters and sculptors that had been my inspiration…so thrilling to see those art history slides come to life.

I have rarely veered too far away from the figure in my imagery. Much of my early works were huge canvases of abstracted figures, missing heads and limbs, as I was very influenced by Greco-Roman sculptures that survived only as torsos.

Seems like about every 7 years, I have a big shift artistically, whether it’s the subject or the medium. I have painted plein-air and architecture, but I always come back to the figure. The biggest surprises to me have been the two things I thought would never happen: painting in watercolor AND ….sculpting in clay!

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