As a fine art oil painter, Karen creates landscapes for collectors who want to love and cherish their paintings forever. She works one-on-one with art lovers to make unique pieces that reflect their individual style for their home or office. As a result, her collectors often develop a special connection that lasts a lifetime.
Karen grew up in the Midwest in an artist community that spilled into her formal and informal education. Her first introduction to art was through her mother, an amateur artist. Her mother taught her about form, shadow, color and light. Karen expressed herself artistically through music, voice, performing arts, and painting in elementary and high school.
Karen’s first oil painting was completed at the age of 13 when she received a painting kit for Christmas. From the moment she picked up her paint brush and mixed her first color, the desire to oil paint burned in her. Although the passion was faint at times, throughout her professional life she held the conviction that one day, she would paint.
Educated in business, Karen has had a varied career in large multi-national companies as well as small entrepreneurial firms. In her late 30s, she launched her own training and consulting firm which she successfully ran for over 25 years and had a world-wide reach. During that time, she was an author, speaker, workshop trainer, and executive coach and expert in personal marketing in an increasingly competitive and complicated world.
But, in 2015, to the surprise of many who knew her professionally, Karen put down her pen and picked up a paintbrush to finally pursue, full-time, that passion that lay dormant all those years ago.
Meet Karen Armon
- Tell us a little about your work and artistic practice?
I love the Old Masters’ form of oil painting, which we call the Indirect Method. The Indirect Method of painting consists of building layers of transparent paint to create a luminosity that reflects light and creates a sense of depth and volume. This method of painting, when using oil paint, takes time and patience, as layers are built up gradually and drying time can take days and even weeks. Titian, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Vermeer are some painters who used this method.I exclusively work with oil paint and am interested in going deep into the medium rather than experimenting with other forms of art. I believe that learning all that I can about oil painting is enough for me!
- What have you been doing to keep occupied during the pandemic and how has your creative process been impacted?
At first, like many artists, the pandemic tended to limit my creativity and work. I am not one that likes to be held back or limited in what I choose to pursue, so it was hard at first to adapt. But I spent many years running my own international business out of my studio in Colorado, so I quickly adapted to the “new normal.” I did slow down a bit in my work but now as we have rounded the corner and are moving into this New Year, I am as excited and inspired as I have always been.
- Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is an elusive thing and I have found that it “comes and goes” depending upon what I am doing. When I am in my studio, I have lots of ideas that I record in a sketchbook or list in my Idea Book. I refer to these often when I get stuck and that spurs me on to create new works. Other artists inspire me, too–their subject matter, their compositions, their approach–even if I am not interested in their medium, and I keep a catalog of favorite artists as well as going to shows and events. I am in awe of what other artists in our community create!
- Do you have a favorite piece of art that someone else created?
Saying Grace by Norman Rockwell just hits my heart so much. I wish I owned this piece. The simplicity of an old woman taking her grandchild to dinner and doing the most basic of things–saying grace over dinner–while the skeptical and surprised table partners are watching this act makes me tear up every time I see it. I don’t know why, but I do.
- Tell us about one of your pieces that you have been the most proud of?
High Country Splendor is a piece that I am very proud of. It is the largest that I’ve created, 24” x 36”, and it has a lot of luminosity to it. It was shown during 2020’s Member Art Show at CAE and at the Pearl Street East End Festival in Boulder in September 2020.
- Who are your biggest influences?
I’ve had several teachers throughout my development as an artist but three of the biggest are Pem Dunn, who is an intermediate/advanced teacher at CAE; Jay Moore, who was my guide in a 6-month mentorship program; and Doug Dawson, who teaches at the Art Students League of Denver and who helped me in my beginning stages of learning about art and oil painting.
See Karen's Work
Morning on Monarch Lake II
18 x 24
High Country Splendor
24 x 36
11 x 20
Seeing the Light
12 x 16