Join the Community

Click here to receive updates from Karen's studio and to stay current with her blog.


Karen has been commissioned to sculpt Saint Francis and Saint Clare. 

Holy Family Video

Click here to see Karen discuss the symbolism behind "Holy Family"

Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.



What I Brought Home from Florence

As I mentioned previously, I spent ten days at a sculpture workshop in Florence led by sculptor Simon Kogan. Here are some lessons I took away from this experience:

1. It is valuable to draw. I usually make my sketches in clay, since the composition of a sculpture is 3-D. I d discovered that sculptors like Marino Marini drew a person's portrait before he sculpted them. Drawing helps us to understand what we're seeing in a new way. 

2. I was challenged to try a new medium. I typically sculpt in oil clay and cast in bronze, but this workshop inspired me to seek new avenues of creativity by discovering the potential and limitations of other materials like plaster. 

3. An artist community is important. There were twelve other students in the workshop–all women–and we worked, walked, ate, and experienced art and life together for eleven days. Though very diverse in age, education, profession, religion, and residence; we quickly found camaraderie and learned a great deal from each other. 

4. Some things in sculpting are difficult to teach and to comprehend. We reach a point where we go beyond technique or principle of design, to something that is more nebulous. In the classroom we used models, and made many quick, small sketches, seeking to express the essence of the forms. Simon pushes us beyond our formulas into that place where fine art is born.



Casting Continues on Holy Family

While I was in Italy, the foundry continued the work of casting the 3/4-life-size Holy Family sculpture, finishing the brush-on molds and pouring the wax castings. The sculpture is too large to cast whole, so it is cast in pieces and welded together.

I work on the cast pieces myself to make sure it matches the form and texture of the original clay sculpture. The baby Jesus and Mary's arms were poured and the shell mold was broken while I was there.

In the weeks ahead the rest of the pieces will be cast and welded together. I'll visit the foundry a few more times before the final visit, when the patina will be applied.

The sculpture will be installed at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Paducah, Kentucky in mid-November. We're making arrangements for installation specialists to assist in the placement of the sculpture in an outdoor prayer garden.


A Few Photos from Le Puy, France

The trip is going very well so far! Before heading to Florence for the sculpture workshop, Tim and I had a wonderful week in Provence. The six-hour drive from where we are loding to Le Puy-en-Velay was some of the most beautiful scenery I've ever seen. When we got there, we found an ancient and beautiful city with some amazing artwork. 



Sculpture Workshop in Florence, Italy with Simon Kogan; Sept. 9 - 20

I have the privilege of studying sculpture with Simon Kogan and twelve other students in Florence Italy for ten days this month. Each day will allow time in the studio from 9 am until 2 pm, after which we will make use of the city’s vast artistic treasures for continued instruction and learning. Our studio classes will be held at the Accademia D'Arte, the prestigious Art School in Florence.

The itinerary includes visits to museums and churches (including the Bargello, Basilica of Santa Maria del Santo Spirito, Brancacci Chapel, and Museo dell’Opera del Duomo) to see works by Marino Marini, Michelangelo, Francesco Messina, and Masaccio–some of my favorites!

Keep an eye on my Facebook and Twitter pages to see daily photos and updates from this trip. After a year of intense sculpting, this trip will be renewing and fulfilling, and definitely inspire me further as a sculptor. What better place to be inspired?


Le Puy-en-Velay: A Historic Journey in Provence

I have an exciting few weeks coming up! After a quick visit to New York City to look at museums and see old friends, Tim and I travel to Provence for a week of art, history, and rest. After this time in Provence, I continue to Florence, Italy for a ten day sculpture workshop with my sculpting mentor, Simon Kogan.

One of our destinations during our time in Provence is the town of Le Puy-en-Velay in the Auvergne region. For centuries, Le Puy has been the French starting point for the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, a pilgrimage taken by many Christians throughout history–including Charlemagne, six popes and many saints. Even today, pilgrims are blessed each morning at the Cathédrale Notre-Dame du Puy.

We will be taking a walking tour throughout the city to see the major sacred artifacts and sites, not least of which is the statue of Notre-Dame de France (the Virgin Mary), created by Jean-Marie Bonnassieux for the town in 1860.

I’m anticipating that being in a place with such spiritual history will be very meaningful for me, and following the steps of so many Christians seeking forgiveness, inspiration, to encounter something holy will be a powerful experience.

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 7 Next 5 Entries ยป