This month we focus on animal loving artist, Karen McSkimming also known by her charming alias, Artful Regards.
Originally from Scotland but now living in Brough in the beautiful Eden Valley, Karen has developed a strong reputation for her fun and personality filled pet portraits. She works from her studio at home, usually late at night when her family are in bed and the house is still “I’ve found that’s the best time to paint” she says “the house is quiet and I can really focus”.
“If you have a passion, follow your dreams”
Karen normally works from photographs, she asks her clients to provide a few lovely images of their special animal companion that show their personality. “I like to meet the animals too though” explains Karen “but I’ll paint from a photograph”.
Home is where the art is
In early 2019, Karen appeared on the brand new BBC programme ‘Home Is Where The Art Is’ hosted by Nick Knowles. The programme was a competition, pitting artists against each other to create an original piece. Although Karen didn’t win, she considers it a fantastic appearance and has had a whole raft of commissions after people watched and loved her style. Karen sums it up nicely with a smile “I’m a loser but I’m not a loser, if you get me?”
The Eden Valley Artistic Network
Karen is part of the Eden Valley Artist Network, better known by its acronym, EVAN.
Karen has been involved with EVAN since it was incorporated in 2017. They have a gallery in Penrith where Karen’s work can be seen (and purchased). Karen also took part in one of EVAN’s first major events, ‘Picturing Penrith’ a competition where artist had just a day to create a piece of original art based on a local scene. Due to the success of the event and Karen’s drive to promote art in the local area, she has organised for a sister event; Picturing Kirkby Stephen to be held in the beautiful Cumbrian market town on the 29th of June . This open event allows artists to be creative under their own preferred medium with judging at the end of the day and a cash prize for the winner. For more information an details on how to enter, visit the EVAN website here
A tip for other artists
We asked Karen if she had any tips for potential artists. Her response; simple and honest “If you have a passion, follow your dreams”. It’s clear that Karen has a strong passion for painting and is doing everything she can to do it more and make a living from it. She admits readily that it hasn’t been easy as she’s explored different ways to sell and promote her work. The momentum that Karen has been building is now very evident though as she has a waiting list for her brilliant pet portraits and is heavily involved with EVAN, helping to put Cumbrian art on the map.
You can contact Karen on Facebook here or by email to email@example.com
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