Karen's Arty Blog

 info, experience, thoughts & stories 

What a send-off!

Oct 11, 2021

After teaching art for the last 18 years I've decided to semi-retire!  This last term was my last teaching at Galleria Art Studio.

Well, I don't think artists or teachers ever really retire.  I think there's something in me that will always make me jump in to add my arty knowledge tuppence at any opportunity.  I just love sharing, which has been the foundation of my studio art education business and will continue with my online art education business.  Hence semi-retirement!

I celebrated this momentous change with an afternoon tea send-off at Galleria Art Studio on 10th October.  And what a momentous occasion it turned out to be.  I was not expecting the outpouring of love, respect, well wishes and amazing gifts that I received.

Mukami Ireri (owner of Galleria Art Studio) started the ball rolling with an extraordinary speech of thanks and this was following up by speeches from students and teachers.  The video above was taken by a friend...

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Mixed Media Portrait Process

Jun 07, 2021

Not many people know this about me - I love drawing and painting portraits! 

So I was delighted when a close friend commissioned me to paint his portrait.  It was quite a daunting task as he visited often and watched the process all the way through!  

I'm pleased to say that he loves it and it hangs proudly in his home.

I have given many portrait drawing workshops and have a playlist of YouTube videos on the subject as well.  At the moment I am putting a workshop calendar together for the second half of 2021.  Workshops are held at Galleria Art Studio in Morley, Perth.  For all those people outside Australia would you be interested in an online, portrait webinar?

If you're interested in any workshops please send me an email  [email protected].  

Here are a few more of my favourite portraits.

Aba - my late father


Paula Silbert



Akram Khan



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10 things You NEED TO KNOW about drawing!

May 24, 2021
  1. Drawing is not a competition.

We often compare ourselves to others.  When you see other people’s work remember that they have been on their own journey to discover their creativity. Drawings in exhibitions and art books are chosen for display.  You don’t get to see the beginnings and the practice sketches.  Don’t compare your work with your own expectations or preconceived ideas of what other people may think.

Just because you believe you aren’t creative doesn’t mean that’s true! 


  1.  Drawing is about learning how to observe and draw what you see.

There are specific ways of looking at something to be able to draw it.  For example, how tall is something compared to its width.  You don’t even have to guess that.  There are ways to visually measure any subject. 

If you’d like to draw from your imagination all your observations of the world around you will help you ‘see’...

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Drawing Rules

May 13, 2021

Karen is passionate.  Not only about sharing her extensive art knowledge but also about her mental health struggle to not be perfect and to be kind to herself.  Be kind to yourself when you're learning to draw!

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DRAWN Exhibition - Opening Speech by Mikaela Castledine - 24/11/17

May 02, 2021

I first met Karen about 15 years ago when we both belonged to the same archery club where we shot every week. When you are an archer you spend a lot of time standing in a line with a bunch of other people all facing the same way, but I am left handed so when I shoot I stand facing the other way so Karen and I spent many many hours standing facing each other about a metre apart and if that isn’t a solid basis for a friendship I don't know what is.
I would like to tell you a little about archery.
When you are getting ready to shoot your arrows the first thing you do is ground yourself. You place your feet carefully, about shoulder width apart, you centre your weight and then you tip it ever so slightly forward like you are getting ready to spring, like you are preparing for something to happen.
Next you take your equipment, equipment you have carefully chosen and meticulously looked after and lovingly prepared and you pull it back until you have a big curve of energy, a literal arc...

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