Pleased to meet you!

I'm Karen Frankel, an Australian artist and educator. I specialise in teaching non-drawers simple observation skills while introducing them to the magic of the drawing process.

My Story

Educator

I have drawn since childhood.  However, as an adult, it occurred to me that many people thought drawing was something difficult to do and a spark of wanting to explain the ‘magic secret’ ignited in me.  Fast forward many years and my dream came true. In 2003, after two years of teaching Drawing for Non-Drawers at UWA Extension I founded an art school - Galleria Art Studio - from where I taught over a thousand people to draw. I encouraged them to continue drawing with a new-found attitude of enthusiasm which overrode their initial fear and self-judgement. 

At the beginning of 2019 I sold Galleria Art Studio to the amazing Mukami Ireri and continued to teach there until October 2021.

I'm continuing to reach new drawers through online tutorials, YouTube videos and, of course, my book, Get Drawing (Even if you think you can't!)

 

I specialise in teaching non-drawers simple observation skills while introducing them to the magic of the drawing process. My experience with people from all walks of life has kept me passionate about bringing creativity to those that think they ‘haven’t a creative bone in their body’. 

I have a strong focus on teaching beginners in a fun and relaxing way and support and encourage the student whatever their ability.

My overriding philosophy is the pleasure taken in the 'doing' regardless of the end result. The benefits of this creative exposure include an understanding of the process of art that they look at, the ability to view the world in a different way and the strengthened self-esteem that comes with taking a risk.

Artist

My paintings in mixed media allow for complete freedom to work with beautiful papers, inks, and acrylic without restrictions. Moving to Western Australia in 1984, I was captivated by the rugged beauty of the Western Australian landscape.

Strongly attracted to interesting shapes, particularly negative space for design and composition, I have developed a technique of image creation. In this I create richly textured multi-layered artworks, using papers, inks, acrylic, graphite, charcoal and drawing to build up the images in stages. This produces an unexpected quality to the work - happy accidents - that add a character and depth to my paintings.    

I have exhibited widely in WA and work out of my studio in Dianella, Perth.

My artwork is always a response to my surroundings and this glass collection features Australian subjects. Having worked almost exclusively with mixed media on canvas my new glass collection is an exciting re-imagining of my signature layering process. It is a culmination of my experience working with layers of acrylic ink, paint, tissue, charcoal and graphite.  I love observing shapes of colour, tone and texture which I then translate into characterful sketches  and photographs. These then provide the starting point for further exploration in my studio.

 

I am constantly excited by what I see whether it is a small, perfectly formed wildflower or expansive skies over gorges in the Pilbara.  The translucency of the material allows for the play of light and depth and the glass provides a magical quality.

 

I draw images of native flowers and tree trunks into powdered glass (frit) and create sheets of colour and texture with vibrant frit of various sizes. Once these glass sheets are fired I cut them into smaller shapes which I then lay side by side to form a new layer.  I keep in mind how each piece and layer visually interacts with another as I build up two or three layers.  The combined layers are then fused together to create a wonderful criss-crossing of images and colour.  I love the controlled ‘happy-accident’ nature of firing overlayed pieces of glass to find a delightful result upon opening the kiln.

See more artwork by Karen