MSAC Individual Artist Award (IAA)2019
Artist StatementI love painting a range of subjects, but the portrait has always been my favorite. I always work from life, never from photographs. There's nothing like watching a person's personality unfold on his or her face as you draw or paint them. It is the small movements, such as the curl of the corner of the mouth or the eyes, that lend expression to the sitter, and observing those subtle changes makes the interaction between the artist and the model dynamic. If a snapshot captures a moment in time, the artist working from life has the opportunity to observe and document the inner person as it manifests itself over time. My greatest influence in the last 3 years has been 17th century Dutch painting. Combining portraits with still life objects and interior spaces allows me to tell stories that are open to interpretation while painting all of the things I love. I hope to convey some of the timeless beauty I so admire in the old masters. I strive to create a timeless beauty in my work.
Karen Warshal is a classical artist living and working in Baltimore City. Her primary interests
are the figure and portrait, and her most recent paintings depict people in interior spaces, evoking
narratives that are sometimes easy to read and other times ambiguous or enigmatic. She derives
inspiration from the Old Masters, but also from the models themselves. She always works from
life and claims that one of the great things about painting people is the dynamic that exists
between the artist and her model. Karen Warshal received her B.A. from the University of
Pennsylvania in Philadelphia and her Master of Fine Arts from Tufts University in conjunction
with the Boston Museum School. She studied classical art at the Schuler School in Baltimore, at
the Parker School of Structural Sculpture in Bethesda, and she has drawn extensively from
antique sculptures in museums throughout Europe. Ms Warshal teaches Portrait Drawing, and
Anatomy for Artists at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), Art Field Trips at Howard
Community College, and leads art historical tours of Italy. She has been featured in American
Artist Drawing magazine, and her work is in many private collections, mostly in the local area.