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About Karen J. Andrews


BIOGRAPHY | KAREN J. ANDREWS

I became fascinated with visual art after reading the letters of Vincent Van Gogh for a high school paper. My love for his artwork grows deeper all the time. His obsession with specific colors and details of nature inspired me to want to know what it would feel like to be that connected to the world through my eyes. During senior year in high school I discovered painting, and spent endless hours after school in the studio, discovering shapes, forms, light and shadows. I loved the feel of applying paint to canvas.
Studying Art History at Oberlin College gave me a comprehensive overview of art throughout history and the world, and filled me to the bursting point with ideas, approaches and possibilities for expression. I took many studio art courses, and spent much of my time printmaking. After college I got my first camera and did some photojournalism and documentary street photography in the neighborhoods of Boston. This image was taken with a toy Diana camera which I think captures a dreamlike, old world quality of East Boston.

In the late 1980’s I moved to New Haven, CT to help renovate an old factory building into artist's studios as part of a city-wide art renaissance. We filled the building with photographers, dancers, painters, sculptors and graphic designers. I experimented with fabric painting and surface design, and had a small crafts business called Dressed to a T making and selling wearable art. I continued photographing blighted neighborhoods of New Haven.

I also began walking in the woods every day with my camera in order to connect more deeply with nature, and eventually followed my heart to the Berkshires where there was much more nature to enjoy. I settled into a more rural lifestyle, shifting from urban documentary to contemplative landscape photography, and began relearning to draw and paint, using mostly watercolor and charcoal. I found the transition between painting and photography to be both nourishing and stimulating.

I experimented with different ways of blending photography, painting and drawing, some examples of which you can see at my gallery or here online. I am always playing, exploring and reinventing what I do and how I do it.

In the early 2000’s, I met and married a gifted woodworker, Michael Costerisan, who makes furniture, built-ins and recently, folk harps. Together we fixed up our former horse barn into the INNER VISION STUDIO, painted it periwinkle, coral, yellow and blue, and use it as a summer gallery space in West Stockbridge. Throughout the summer and fall I exhibit my photography and watercolor and am available year-round for studio visits by appointment.