Karen Baker

Karen is our September 2013 Guest Artist
Demo: September 6, 2013
Demo starts at 5:30 pm

The most exciting aspect of the painting experience is the creative process itself: that spontaneous flow of energy working through the artist, condensed into form. Each one of my paintings is a momentary pause in the ongoing expression of who I am…”

Artist-instructor Karen Baker paints what inspires her the most—the world of Nature and its ever-changing landscape in all seasons. Her portfolio covers a range of subjects: the lowland waterways of the coastal South; Florida shorelines, tropics, Everglades and sugar cane fields; rural New England farm buildings, meadows and mountain vistas. She is also known for her colorful floral paintings, particularly the prolific Poppy Series.


She studied drawing and mixed-media with abstract artist Barbara Garber at Brattleboro Community College in Vermont, where she discovered her passion for the pastel medium. Thereafter, she studied with noted pastelists Herman Margulies, Stanley Maltzmann, Christina DeBarry, Elizabeth Apgar-Smith, and Wolf Kahn.

An avid plein air painter, she has participated in local outdoor events including St. Petersburg’s “Paint the Town.” Her artwork was featured in Tampa Bay Magazine, 2010, and has received awards and recognition in regional and national shows, as well as awards from the Artists Magazine Annual Juried Competition 2004 & 2010, and most recently from Pastel Journal Magazine’s 14th Annual 100 Competition, 2013. She holds Signature Membership with Connecticut Pastel Society and Pastel Society of America and is a member of Pastel Society of Tampa Bay, TESA (The Exhibiting Society of Artists), and Vermont Pastel Society.

In addition to creating original artwork, Baker teaches classes and workshops at the Dunedin Fine Art Center, the Morean Arts Center in St. Petersberg, the Aging Well Center in Clearwater, and private lessons in her Dunedin studio. She is represented by galleries in Florida and New England. www.KBakerStudios.com


For this demo I’ll do a representational landscape in pastel, deciding a day or two beforehand what my subject and direction might be. I prefer the painting follows it’s own course while I go along for the ride. My personal interests, however, are landscapes with dramatic skies and distant horizons, often balanced by elements of the peace and completeness I resonate with in Nature. I also like being spontaneous with color and working more from my imagination rather then following any set plan.

Most times, when I enter into a new painting, I’ll start thumbing through my value sketches, plein air studies, and photo references. These visual aides help me connect and identify with what my “inner landscape” is revealing in that moment about the essence of a particular subject and serves as a springboard for the creative process that guides me along until the final image appears within the illusion of space. For me, the painting process itself is much more interesting to behold than simply producing a work of art. It’s exciting to watch creativity in action, bringing images to ‘light’ in the visual realm—a spiritual joy ride, so to speak. I like being open to it all and seeing what happens.”