an interview with Artspring artist
how long have you been an artist and how did your artistic career begin?
I have always drawn and painted and my artistic life has grown organically over the years.
Why do you make art and what themes do you pursue?
I often ask myself that question. Why do I give myself so much grief ? I guess it’s because when it goes well it is the most wonderful exciting feeling to be totally absorbed in the creative process. I like to experiment with a variety of media and surface papers as well as acrylics and oils but feel most at home with Charcoal and Pastel as it is so expressive and immediate.
Who or what have most inspired you?
I love the work of Degas and a course at The Drawing School in Shoreditch (drawing the moving figure) sparked an interest in me that changed the course of my artistic endeavours. The drawings I produced were fresh and vibrant, and came from an emotional perspective and instinct as there was no time to labour over the subject.
Can you describe your first big break?
I had work selected for the Pastel Society at the Mall Galleries and successfully exhibited at a local gallery which gave me the confidence to take my work more seriously.
What gives you joy?
Not in an art sphere…. family, especially my grandson Freddie; he is an absolute delight and I adore him. I also like to travel and socialise with friends.
Are there any achievements of which you feel particularly proud?
Obviously in life it has to be raising a family. With my art every time someone buys a piece of my work it reinforces my belief in myself and moves me forward.
Renovating a derelict barn in Italy to a beautiful home, which was especially challenging with many setbacks and heartache along the way, is also up there as an achievement.
How do you like to spend your time when you are not being an artist?
Entertaining family and friends, going to Italy, exploring new places, visiting exhibitions, eating and drinking, walking and a bit of house renovation.
What is the best piece of advice that you have ever been given regarding your art?
Don’t worry about making mistakes, leave them in place and keep working through.
Do you have a favourite quote?
‘If you can’t say something nice don’t say anything at all.’
This was the mantra that a very special aunt of mine used to live her life by.
What is the best thing for you about being a member of Artspring?
I would say that collaborating with a diverse group of artists and the support we give to each other is the most enjoyable part of being an Artspring member. From my own practise point of view it is always lovely when someone appreciates what you do enough to buy the work, but that is not exclusive to Artspring.
Karen was interviewed by Caroline Fraser in October 2019