While living in Philadelphia and working in sales and marketing, Kara Coleman read a biography of the artist Georgia O’Keeffe and felt a strong urge to visit the Southwest. Giving in to her temptation proved to be the right call, for it inspired her to explore art when she returned home, opening the door to her creativity.
Kara is our February ART@EPL artist, and her work is on display this month in the children’s wing. Be sure to stop in to enjoy her paintings, and keep reading to learn more about her and her art in the following profile, which originally appeared in the Arts Community of Easton (ACE) Facebook page:
Born in Newburgh, NY and raised in Allentown, Kara discovered her passion for painting while living and working in sales and marketing in Philadelphia. During that time, she experienced an overwhelming desire to see the Southwest. After reading the biography of artist Georgia O’Keefe, Kara succumbed to her calling and went on a two-week trip to New Mexico.
Inspired by the vast open space, rich southwest colors, and spiritual energy, Kara returned to Philadelphia and immediately enrolled in art classes. After completing basic drawing classes, she felt a strong need to work in color but when she could not find an oil painting class for that semester, she “settled” for a watercolor class. This proved to be a fortunate twist of fate. Kara immediately knew the medium would provide a foundation for a high level of skill and has continued to work in it ever since. Recently, she has decided to further develop her talent and add oil painting to her skills.
Labeled as the “most difficult” of all paint mediums, Kara has found watercolor to be a medium that comes naturally to her and has embraced its challenges. She has found that oil is a medium that she equally excels in and creates a different effect. She appreciates the change in how the two mediums are used for design, texture and expression.
Since Kara enjoys painting in the studio, she has learned to appreciate the beauty and opportunities that come from painting in an artful setting. While walks in nature serve as an inspiration, many of her paintings also come from her imagination.
“I have always been a big picture person. I don’t see detail in subjects, but rather overall shapes and colors while taking in the whole of the scene. This gives the viewer the opportunity to imagine what might be in the painting, and some enjoy looking deeper into what it means to them. There are also many viewers who just appreciate the color, design, and/or shapes.”
Kara spent 5 years living in Arizona and then returned to the Lehigh Valley bringing with her the different colors of that area. She appreciates the colors of this area also, and enjoys working with any color palette. She is known for her talent with color, and uses her intuition instead of traditional guidelines for working with it.
Kara enjoys being a member of local artists’ guilds and interacting with the many wonderful artists. She has found true joy in her creative pursuits.
ART@EPL is the library’s exciting partnership with the Lehigh Art Alliance and the Lehigh Valley Arts Council. The series is funded through a grant from PA Partners in the Arts, making it possible for area residents to enjoy free art lectures and workshops from local artists working in pastels, charcoal, sculpture, and watercolor among others.
Visit the ART@EPL page to see all the artists who have led workshops and exhibited work at the library as part of ART@EPL.