Karen Cole

Karen Cole

email me

Interview in Santa Fe Oneheart Magazine 04/2012

Where were you born?
I was born in Baltimore, Maryland.

What first got you excited about the arts?
I’ve always been excited about the arts. I can remember — at the age five — being an early graffiti artist. I had a lot of art materials to play with, but my favorite ones were the big fat sticks of chalk. I used to cover huge areas of concrete in my alley with colors and designs. Then the rain would wash it away and I’d get to start all over with a new work of art. It was great!

Where and when did you have your first art show?
My first show was in 1971, at the Baltimore Museum of Art. I was about 15 years old, and my high-school art teacher, Ed Saffell, submitted my piece of work. It was a large blue and orange panel with silkscreened repetitions of bicycle parts, like gears and wheels. I used color gradations to indicate movement. They told me it looked college level. I loved riding my ten-speed; it represented freedom, and that feeling came through in the painting.

How do you see your future as an artist?
I see myself as an abstract acrylic artist in the future. I love pure color and composition, without the restrictions of objectivity. It’s such a freeing and joyful experience. This is amusing to me, because I started my career as a classically trained oil painter, focusing on super realism.