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), Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA), 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!

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.