STORY BEHIND THE ART OF Karen Kluglein

 
20th Annual International American Society of Botanical Artists & The Horticultural Society of New York
 
 

Tree Peony

Paeonia suffruticosa
 

For many years I had been accustomed to painting with watercolor on a hot pressed, very smooth paper, but had never heard of working with vellum until Susan Frei Nathan told me about it. This was the very first piece I painted on vellum, so it has special meaning to me. I found the luxurious surface to be remarkably smooth and forgiving so long as it does not get too wet- something that is not always so easy when working with a water-based medium. I have found the advantages of working on vellum far outweigh the disadvantages and it has remained my surface of choice to paint on ever since I first tried it. 

Kwanzan Cherry

Prunus serrulata
 
For years I watched the heavily blooming Kwanzan cherry trees near my studio and always wanted to paint them. Oddly enough, they are situated at the edge of a cemetery I drive past in order to get to my studio. Last year I drove to the cemetery to photograph the flowers and branches, take a few notes and sneak a few blossoms back with me. While working on the painting, whenever I wanted to see the details up close, I would go back to the cemetery to observe the tree in real life. Although from a distance it was the blossoms that first drew my attention to these trees, in the painting what I like best is the contrast of the coppery leaves with the pink petals. 
 
 
 
Read more about this artist’s work: 19th Annual International
 
  • © 2008 Karen Kluglein
    Tree Peony
    Paeonia suffruticosa
    Watercolor on vellum
    9-1/2" x 12"
  • © 2017 Karen Kluglein
    Kwanzan Cherry
    Prunus serrulata
    Watercolor on vellum
    11-1/4" x 8-1/4"