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Community Profile: Karen Loehr

About Karen Loehr 

Karen is a painter, graphic designer, a former member of our WSS atelier, and a current board member. As a practicing artist, she has taken part in our advanced classes and workshops for years. To introduce her, we share some of her work and an excerpt from a recent talk she gave in Virginia, which exemplifies how we think about painting at WSS: 

“I consider myself to be a perceptual painter working primarily in oil. By perceptual, I mean that all of my paintings start by observing an actual motif, generally landscape or still life. For me, I need the emotional response I get from seeing. There is an artist who calls it “the visual kiss.” And that idea rings true for me. The “oooh I want to paint this” may be a response to the way light hits the edge of a form, the colors in an object (especially with my rose paintings). It’s often, usually, non-verbal. Just a strong emotion. And I find it difficult to conjure that emotion strictly from my imagination.

I also am interested in paint . . . the viscosity and beauty of the material. In fact, my paintings are less about the “thing” I’m looking at and more about the material response I’m having on the canvas. This becomes the push/pull that characterizes my time at the easel. I look, respond, paint. Then the painting talks back and I move from adhering to the motif to making decisions based on paint, what the PAINT wants (more blue, no more gray, wipe me off, put me on). At times, I feel like I’m actually on an archeological dig. A new layer reacts to the layer beneath. Accidents become the focal point. And, eventually, a painting emerges. For me, there has to be a certain amount of paint on the canvas for it to feel complete. I like all the marks, the old color notes, the history to show. “

To see more of Karen's work, visit:


Be sure to join Karen every Tuesday at 12 pm EST as she moderates our free book discussion group reviewing the book 'Disrupted Realities' by John Seed starting May 26. Click here to learn more.


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