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Art & Life with Karen Adams

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Adams.

Karen, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I remember thinking when I was 5 years old that when I grew up, I wanted to be an artist. Thankfully, I had the support of my parents who encouraged my dream, sending me to classes and private lessons during elementary school.

My mother was a pianist, and a variety of music was played in my house while I was growing up. Before long, I became interested in 60’s and 70’s rock, and listening to music while making art became a thing. It still is today.

My art school days were heaven. There was great energy in the art department… art was happening in all disciplines, and a lot of it was pretty good. The B-52’s and REM helped to put the UGA art department on the map…and may have helped to up enrollment for a number of years! I studied painting and art history in Italy for a summer and saw the painters and sculptors that had been my inspiration…so thrilling to see those art history slides come to life.

I have rarely veered too far away from the figure in my imagery. Much of my early works were huge canvases of abstracted figures, missing heads and limbs, as I was very influenced by Greco-Roman sculptures that survived only as torsos.

Seems like about every 7 years, I have a big shift artistically, whether it’s the subject or the medium. I have painted plein-air and architecture, but I always come back to the figure. The biggest surprises to me have been the two things I thought would never happen: painting in watercolor AND ….sculpting in clay!

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am unashamed to say that I love painting, drawing and sculpting the figure….even though nudes don’t seem to be the trend right now. The fact that human beings have been reproducing images of other human beings for thousands of years blows my dress up….but even more, the process of making the figure in art blows my mind creatively. It’s obvious to me that there is a need for humans to depict themselves in art that seems…well, eternal.

While drawing a model, out of the blue it hit me that after years of being an oil painter and drawer, I could create in a different voice… with watercolor. So I set out to do it. Then in another ‘aha’ moment, I thought I could learn to sculpt the figure. Going 3-D three years ago really opened up a new world for me! I don’t feel
any need to stay within one discipline…that would just slow me down in my creative efforts.

For me it’s all about identity: who are you? You’re not a tree or a horse or a building…you are a unique spirit housed in a human body. I want the images I make to resonate with you and connect you to yourself. I want you to empathize with that image of a person, whether it’s a large clay sculpture or a small watercolor, and in it, find something of yourself.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
Personally, my artistic challenges have been in various stages of my life. It’s difficult to devote time to making art when you’re raising kids or working a job to pay the bills, but if you love it, you’ll do it.

One of the biggest overall issues I see for artists today is the chasing of the market. For example, I have a friend who is a very successful songwriter. He has written his songs in his unique way for several decades, but he’s only in sync with ‘the market’ about every 5 years. He stays true to his style, even if it’s not exactly what’s getting airplay. I think too many artists search for what’s in vogue, sacrificing their individual style to ride the wave of popularity in hopes of a quick financial gain.

My advice is to stay true to your vision…and work, work, work!

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Well first, have a look at my website, Instagram and Facebook pages. You’ll see my current works in progress, completed pieces, and find the latest information about my upcoming exhibitions. I’m available by appointment at my studio on the north side of Atlanta.

People support me and all of my countless numbers of artist friends by purchasing original art.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: kalushbrush
  • Facebook: Lush-brush: the artwork of Karen Adams

Image Credit:

J King Images

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