Karen Burns began as a still life photographer, and gradually her interests shifted to still life oil painting. “It seemed like a natural progression to me. Having a photographer’s eye for composition has benefited setting up my own stills for painting,” she says.
“I quickly came to realize that painting from life, rather than a photograph, gave me the best results. I’ve always had an insatiable curiosity about trying new ideas, which is one of the reasons I now work in oils—there is always more to learn and it completely holds my interest.”
Burns’ work showcases a vibrant, classic style with simple, everyday objects often as the focus. She especially enjoys pairing pottery and other containers with natural materials. “This holds great appeal to me, being able to showcase something vintage with something fresh,” she explains. “Often times a still life prop will trigger thoughts of home, kitchen, warmth, family, history and daily living. All of these things connect me with the story I tell, hoping that the viewer makes that connection as well.”
Painting, for Burns, is done for the love of pushing paint to express the shape, color, light and freshness of things around her. She says, “Inspiration often comes from the produce at the farmer’s market, a woodsy walk at the lake picking up leaves or simply browsing still life props on hand. Inspiration really can be found around every corner. I am enjoying the journey looking for the light. Rather than photographing stills for the sake of an image, you can now find me more often with a paintbrush in hand at the easel in my small Northern California studio.” —
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