Previously a licensed designer in Alabama and Florida and a professional member of ASID, Karen Weir is artistic in many ways. She had her own company, Added Dimensions, for 22 years in Miami, Florida. She also worked at Vizcaya, the historic "Italian Renaissance" villa of James Deering, initially as a docent and eventually taught some of the design refresher courses and did research. It was there that she learned to appreciate old structures with the patina of age and the beautiful elements of gardens.
The light of Miami is very similar to that of southern California where in La Jolla Karen and her husband, Jim, have a second home.
Her paintings in watercolor, pastels, and oils and her photography show that interest in capturing light and she has won many awards for her work.
Her painting of St. Luke's at Cahaba was purchased by the State of Alabama for their Cahaba historic site. She also has an oil painting commissioned by the donor of a building at Vanderbilt University that will be in the University's permanent collection.
She has studied regularly with major watercolorists, like Timothy Clark and Ted Nuttall, in workshops through her membership in the San Diego Watercolor Society. She has also studied with Albert Handel and Susan Ogilvie, pastel painters and with Brian Blood, Joe Garcia and Adele Earnshaw, all painters in oils.
Karen is a member of the Selma Art Guild, the La Jolla Art Association, the California Art Club, the Oil Painters of America, as well as the American Impressionist Society.
For part of the year, Jim and Karen live in an old 1880's farmhouse built by Jim's family that they restored in central Alabama, near Selma. She has been inspired by old scenes, especially rural, and old objects and buildings and has taken many photographs of these and has done many paintings of these as well. She studied creative photography at the Honors College at the University of Alabama with Chip Cooper, who has written many books on photography about the rural South. She also regularly does plein air painting with the Alabama Plein Air Painters and enjoys the challenge of painting outdoors. She has painted in the Hudson River Valley, southwest France, and in Tuscany, painting en plein air. She was one of 15 painters from the southeastern states to be invited to the Southeastern Plein Air Invitational, held in Gadsden, Alabama.
In the last few years, she has had the opportunity to go on several European river cruises and has painted in the evenings an image from the day's travels. She has been fortunate to have many new friends buy these for their memories of the trip and has taught artistic journaling on cruises, where colorful watercolor sketches accompany the text that records the adventures on the trip.
She also has had 24 paintings on display in La Jolla, CA. in Sotheby's International Realty headquarters.
Karen's website: www.karenweirfineart.com