Karen Wiechert

I fell in love with painting later in life. It was not until I was in my 50’s that I was able to fulfill a lifelong dream of attending art school. I graduated from Laguna College of Art and Design in 2010 and have been painting full time ever since.

Whether I am painting from a still life I have composed in my studio, or from a photograph taken out in the field, I try to paint subjects for which I feel a deep connection. I have explored the timeless appeal of the party dress and the mysteries of underwater landscapes, however, in the last few years I have become more interested in portraiture. My favorite subjects have been my own family, dogs and most recently cows.

I have a dear British friend who I met in the 1970’s when I was a exchange student in Bath England. She lives in a beautiful part of rural England where cows and sheep out number the humans. I love Sleepy Devon so much that I visit her almost every year. Knowing how much I love painting cows, this September she took me to visit her friends at Pinkhill Farm where Farmer George, his father and grandfather raise Charolais. These gentle creatures have been the focus of my most recent work. With all my portraits, human and animal, I try
to capture their emotions conveyed via their facial expressions. The cow’s direct gaze communicates a combination of both caution and curiosity that I find fascinating. It is a challenge and a joy translating the personalities of these subjects onto canvas. For me, oil paint is the perfect medium for the job. With oil paint, I can do more than just play with colors. I can build my paintings in layers and create a textural piece which I find more interesting than my photograph. Most importantly, I hope that my work reflects my love of my subjects and my love of my medium.