“A story from my life explains my attitude towards art. When the Northridge earthquake hit Los Angeles, I was still a writer and living in West Hollywood. After the shaking stopped I ventured outside to see the damage. Around the corner, at a high-end shop, I saw that a row of beautiful Murano glass vases had fallen and were lying shattered on the floor. I asked if I could have the broken glass. It was useless to them so they let me take it away. I cast the glass shards in resin and made something beautiful out of the wreckage. This is the way I look at art. Out of chaos comes creativity.” -Karen Clark
When did art spark an interest in you?
Growing up, I went to public school where there was little to no funding for art, so I missed that early exposure. I did some drawing and painting on my own but it wasn’t until college that I discovered my passion for images. After I took my first film class, I switched my major from psychology to film studies. This led me to Los Angeles where I eventually ended up writing movies and television.
There came a point where I got totally burned out. I wasn’t getting any satisfaction from writing besides the monetary. My son, Connor Gewirtz was born with a paintbrush in his hand. Watching him draw and paint stirred something in me. A good friend noticed and told me that I was also an artist, I just didn’t know it. All I needed were the tools to express myself. She insisted that I take a Photoshop class.
That friend, Los Angeles painter Kimberly Brooks, changed my life. She became my mentor. I took to the visual and never wrote again. She helped me navigate the art world. Six months after the photoshop class, I was in my first art show.
Do you have a favorite artist or piece of art?
My favorite living artists change by the day because there’s so much great work out there. Of course, Kimberly is one of my favorites. Recently I’ve become enamored with Inka Essenhigh. She has a wild imagination and amazing technique. She paints fantasy worlds and uses color in a sensual flowing way that thrills and inspires me.
You have sold pieces in private collections in Sweden, France, the United Kingdom and more. Can you tell me why you think your work resonates in these countries?
Selling online gives you the opportunity to reach collectors all over the world. My first sales were mainly to Europe; digital paintings/composite portraits of women. I have to imagine that these collectors were drawn to my portraits because they have classic, historical feel that hopefully will stand up over time.
What is the most unique piece you created in your opinion?
The most unique piece I’ve created is a sculpture made of miniature oil barrels, skulls and bombs that are covered with what looks like 24 karat gold.
Do you have a signature piece?
I don’t have a “signature” piece. Since I started late in my second career I am compelled to try everything, so my style keeps changing.