Karen HultbergI have been involved in the world of wildlife art since I first submitted work to a Western and Wildlife art show in 1981. I got off to a great start by being awarded the Best of Show–Oil award for my painting of a cougar. All of the attention and praise was a bit heady for a first-timer in the professional art world.
I learned not to paint what I thought was expected of me, but to work with ideas I respected and concepts which I could get excited about. I paint slowly, but I read that “to discover who you are, look to your paintings,” and eventually found the truth in this. Although I took a few art classes in college, I was not convinced of the validity of the concepts of art put to me by the professors and I qualify as being self-taught.
My husband and I left Seattle for the foothills of the Cascades where we shared space with deer, bobcats, grouse and bears. We presently live in a small mining town in the mountains, which I love and will never leave. I see avalanches, mountain goats and Alpine waterfalls with binoculars from my studio window. I love this country–rain and all–and never get tired of it, listening to the quiet, the wind in the trees and the river below.
There is nothing like spotting wildlife in the wild, and over the years, the compulsion to try to paint animals, and paint them well, has never left me. My work has evolved along with me. I have won other awards along the way and gratifying as they are, they don’t compare to bringing a painting to a satisfying completion. When it happens, anything seems possible!