Karen Burnette Garner ~ Artist Home About the Artist Contact the Artist Artwork Portfolio
Recent Works
Ashley River Backwater Beaufort Afternoon James Island #4 Charleston Moon -- Distant Harbor
KW Commission Shadows Palmetto #50 Bait Fishing

Upcoming Events

Join My Email List


Beaufort Afternoon

The afternoon sun is slipping away, the colors of the marsh are growing richer, and the breeze has just a hint of coolness for the night ahead.  Autumn in the lowcountry is a time of slowing down, taking the beauty of the moment and making it your own.  Winter will come, and with it, grey days and muted scenes, but for now, the enveloping stillness rules. Sit back and soak it in!

Comment on or Share this Article >>

Trying Something New

Inspiration piece and Commission in process

Several months ago, a friend sent me an email, telling me about an art opportunity.  Now, we all see these "call for artists", and as many as you might apply for, few really do pan out to be much of an opportunity.  The call was for artwork that would be appropriate for a local hospital under construction.  A company in another state was coordinating the purchase of art, with preference given to artists who lived in the area of the site.  


I paint mostly peaceful, relaxing landscapes and art that I believed would be appropriate for a healthcare setting.  I researched some of the previous projects of the company, then put together images, pricing information and  artist statement/bio, and submitted them to the company.  The deadline for submissions passed, as did the initial "we will respond by..."  Being the patient kind, I waited a bit longer before reaching out to check on the status of my submission.  It wasn't long before another response came stating new decision times.  No problem.  When that date came and went, I politely followed up.  Polite response that decisions were imminent.  


Then the response came....sorry, but we've chosen others.  Okay, at least I tried, and I was courteous enough to thank them for the opportunity.  I thought that was the end of it. But no.


Several months passed, and I got a phone call.  The art design firm was looking for a large piece in the hospital's adjacent medical office building, and had selected one of my submitted images.  Could I produce it to certain specifics? And what about the price?  What about a quick delivery?  Sure, I could accommodate them on all their requests. A purchase agreement was sent and signed. Then the purchase order. Signed and sealed.  The studio work began, and the painting was completed. The initial down payment was received.  The company asked for an image of the artwork. Image sent.  The art director wanted a slight adjustment. Adjustment done.  Finally the art was delivered to the local company who was coordinating the framing and installation of the art.  


In about three weeks, the artwork should be hung and displayed and the final check will arrive.   My work will be in a very visible location, and add beauty and peace to a medical office building.  I've learned a lot from this process.


Was the effort worth the time and attention?  I think so. This specific type of business works with its own rules.  There are a lot of hoops to jump through, because there are many approval points along the way, within the company and from THEIR client.  But an attitude of patience, understanding, and confidence in one's work make the process possible.  A good working relationship with an art focused company is a valuable commodity.


One thing leads to another.  My work has been seen by people who procure art on a large scale for healthcare facilities. Who knows? They may need my type of art again.  I've proved to be easy to work with and true to my agreements.  I'm receiving payment that I think is fair and reasonable, doing something I love to do.  I will be looking for more of these opportunities, and have a better understanding of how this type of art is selected. Patience and attention to detail is important, too.


I'm looking forward to seeing my vision in its new home! And for those of you who are thinking of giving this type of work a try, I hope my experience is helpful. Paint on!

Comment on or Share this Article >>

Making Decisions

Human beings are decisive creatures.  With every day, for every person, decisions loom.  Some decisions are made for oneself, but sometimes choices are made for us. Each decision an effect, large or small. Artists have their decisions to make too.  Some are easier than others, but all direct efforts to create and express. 


Here are a few areas of choice:

1) Subject matter: do  you create something familiar and comfortable? Do you stretch your visions to confront, to provoke the viewer? To record reality or share a dream?


2) Media: is your vision better conveyed in paint and canvas, drawing, carved stone or wood? Glass or ink? Fabric or steel? Music or dance? or both?


3)  Purpose:  are you creating to lead to cash, feed your family or your ego? Share your heart? Get your point across? Reflect a social conscience? Personal enjoyment? Creating a legacy?


4) Getting it seen:  Only for you, or for others? Who do call? (Not Ghostbusters, hopefully) Gallery, online, art shows or fairs? Co-op? Door to door?  eBay? Advertise?


Whether the choice is conscious or impulse, we are guided daily by the decisions we make.  Make the conscious ones in honesty, with your heart, and with positive intention.  It's yours to choose.



Comment on or Share this Article >>


Late on a summer afternoon, the shadows on the marsh lengthen, and daytime life slows toward evening.  The wading birds continue to search the mud and water, seeking dinner.  The breeze in the trees whispers and cools.  Welcome rest from a hectic day is ahead.  This painting reflects that most special time of day, a time of beauty and peace.

Comment on or Share this Article >>

In The Garden

As I was organizing the studio, I came across this piece from my early days of painting.  In 1987, I was in love with oil paints, and exploring what I could do with this living medium.  The inspiration came from a photo I had seen in a magazine...a figure standing at the edge of a garden.  The background of a misty, rainforest-ish hillside above the glass greenhouse gave a sense of quiet and simplicity.  The sunflowers imply the joy of the garden, the figure, neither male or female, serene in the garden path.  I've ordered a new frame for this piece, and will keep it in my personal collection.  A memory of my early painting experiences, and a precursor of the many many paintings to come.  I look at it, and I am, again, in the garden.

Comment on or Share this Article >>

Under the Sea

Sometimes you just have to have fun!!  


After a visit to the Georgia Aquarium, I was fascinated by the huge reef display, with its many colors and shapes.  I have been playing with this painting off and on for several years, and finally have it where I am happy with it.  It is a painting full of color, movement and joy.  When I look at it, I smile.  Goal achieved!

Comment on or Share this Article >>


The days are full on the coast, lots to do and see. Sometimes, one forgets that little boat down on the tidal marsh, waiting for a quick check of the crab traps, or a snag of a spotted bass.  It waits patiently through high and low tides, for that special moment when you wade through the high grass and take a seat, pushing into the tide's pull.  Who knows what you'll find?  Or what will find you!

Comment on or Share this Article >>

Last Light

At the end of the day, the last light hits the trees and grasses, one last glow before evening falls. It is a time of settling in and resting after a long day of work, or play.  

Comment on or Share this Article >>

High Tide on the Point

High tide fishing on the Point...barely room for the rods and chair.  Beach erosion has cut into the dunes behind, but left a nice little shelf of sand to enjoy. A brush with a hurricane last year created a quick flowing breach from the marsh to the ocean.  Not a safe place to swim, but a great place to fish, as the tidal exchange brings nutrients to and from the marsh.  Eventually it will fill in, as sand is swept down the coast, but for now, it provides a quiet place to put a line in the water, and to escape the crowded beach.


Comment on or Share this Article >>

For Lewis

Painted this work the day of the death of Lewis Grizzard, the Georgia writer for the Atlanta Journal/Constitution, and author of a yearly collection of essays with comical titles. I stood in line at Rich's department store many a time to get that yearly autographed copy. I grew to adulthood/motherhood reading Lewis' column, and he wrote about the South and how it was growing up here, and what was changing. He loved good barbecue and hated wearing socks.  He was a rascal and a black sheep, but we loved him anyway.  He loved University of Georgia, and it was said that some of his ashes are scattered at the 50 yard line, though we don't know for sure (wink).  I've visited his official grave in Moreland, GA, and walked through his small museum up the street. I wept when his heart gave out, just like the other Southerners who knew him, too.  He'd always had a bad ticker, and had dodged a few close calls with death, but I think this time, he knew his time was running out. When I found his last column in a drawer the other day, wherein he was asking for folks to pray (and they did), it prompted me to pull out this beautiful watercolor from those years ago...still vibrant, still beautiful. I had never really tried to sell it...so much emotion and memory in it, even now.  I sat at the work table in my studio, working on the painting, tears falling - there are probably some mixed in the watercolor.  He had lived his life to the fullest, as should we all.  Thank you, Lewis, wherever you are.  Throw a stick for that dog, Catfish, to chase, and I'll look for you when my time comes.  I wonder if they'll have barbecue.....

Comment on or Share this Article >>
Older Posts    

Edit My Sitekaren@karenburnettegarner.com
Artist Websites by FineArtStudioOnline
Mobile Site | iPhone Site | Regular Site