Karen Bartlett is a long time friend of Eggleston Gallery, and an amazing artist. We wanted to share a bit about her with you, so that you can appreciate her and her work.

"Calm Before the Storm"

"Calm Before the Storm"

There is so much to say about Karen as a teacher, an artist, and a lover of nature that it is going to take discipline not to ramble. First, wow! The sheer detail in her paintings is overwhelming—just, wow!   Then, when that first emotion fades, you realize it is not possible to produce paintings that are so accurate and realistic without a true knowledge and love of the subject.

Karen at her home studio in Williamston, working on her triptych.

Karen at her home studio in Williamston, working on her triptych.

We met Karen several years before Eggleston Gallery had ever been thought of, through the weekly classes that she hosts at her Williamston studio.  Nuzzled in the woods just outside her home, Karen’s workspace tells you plenty about her.   Just getting there is a treat.  You traverse a winding driveway along fields and into the forest, maybe catching a glimpse of her friendly old donkey from behind his fence post. By the time you park at her home and walk the path deeper into the woods to her studio, you’ll see her affinity with nature. Open the door to this happy woodland retreat, and you’ll find Karen sharing her love of art and nature by helping artists of all skill levels improve their craft.

Karen's "Mystical Eye" is remarkably detailed. You can see the individual hairs!

Karen's "Mystical Eye" is remarkably detailed. You can see the individual hairs!

As detailed as they are, Karen’s paintings describe her still more vividly. Whether she’s creating a landscape or animal portrait, Karen’s work is both enchanting and majestic.  Her precise hand and detailed eye jump off the canvas; so much so that it is often hard to remember you’re not looking at a photograph. And her choice of subject is telling: many of her paintings are inspired either by scenes from around Michigan, or by the horses she kept for years. We have fantastic examples of each!

"I'm Not Sharing" makes us laugh--those cheeks!

"I'm Not Sharing" makes us laugh--those cheeks!

But Karen’s technical prowess is not solely why her work so captivates us; rather, we have always found the tenderness with which she depicts nature endearing. The trickling of water in her streams, and the chill in her autumn forests make studying her work like stepping through the frame and straight into her world. This is a quality not attained through a mere master of technique, but by someone who has felt and fallen in love with the power and beauty of the natural world. In a word, Karen paints not just with pastels, but with awe.

For these and other reasons, we’re proud to have featured Karen’s art, and are even prouder to call her our friend.