My name is Karen James and I am a multi-media artist, specializing in artist grade colored pencil and graphite.  I am an active member of the Colored Pencil Community of the Australasia (CPCAU), and an Artist Member at the Warwick Center for the Arts.

If I’m not working on a piece of art, I’m thinking about what I’m working on or will be working on.  It’s just instinctive to me.  Since I was a child I’ve drawn, painted, crafted, knitted….you get the idea.  My hands were always busy in the arts.  I was surrounded by talented people, and was fortunate to be taught by a great artist, my Father.  In fact, I work at his drafting table.  I’d have to say that is one great way to stay inspired.

I love color, but I also love that look of greyscale that comes from working in graphite.  When working in color, I work with highly pigmented, Artist grade pencils.  The pencils I use meet lightfast standards ensuring longevity to the art I create with them.  The brands I use are Faber Castell Polychromos and Caran D’Ache Luminance and Pablo pencils.  I find these to be of the highest quality.  You’ll find that I’ll often add just a touch of color to my graphite work.  To me, this is giving the viewer a special moment.  A look at Munchkin Land for the first time, as it were!

Recently, I have also started to work with pastel, inks, and acrylic paint.  This has opened up new opportunities to work my art.  I feel I have great range and am able to explore more options.  You will see more of this in upcoming pieces of my artwork.

I am passionate about nature, and take photographs of my surroundings whenever possible.  I am particularly drawn…pun intended…to birds.  I have feeders in my backyard, and live close to the shore.  Photos of birds for reference are not lacking!

Depicting nature isn’t just a joy, it’s important.  I feel we need to preserve these beautiful creatures, and ensure their environment is strong and healthy.  By drawing and painting birds and nature, I feel I can contribute to the preservation of our environment.

So as you look through my gallery, I hope you too see all the wonderful things our planet provides us with.  I hope you feel inspired.