Inspired by her life experience and world travels, Karen Gillis Taylor paints colorful contemporary landscapes, fanciful cityscapes, magical interpretations of trees and flowers, still life paintings, and images of the Southwest. She works in acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache, pastel, photo processes, and digital processes.
She says she delights in the magical qualities of art, explaining, "I love that an image of a shimmering city at night can take us to a wonderful place in our imaginations and memories. I was captured by this dream world as a little girl and still find it fascinating today. Painting has always been my first love,” She elaborated. “I focus on color, pattern and effects of light in each piece. I love it when people tell me they want to jump into my painting and walk around to see what is around the next building or tree. I feel that way when I'm making the painting.”
Karen’s interest in painting was first inspired when she visited major art museums, during a tour of Europe, while she was a college student in the the seventies. Although she had been studying history, her interest turned to art and she enrolled in art classes upon return from her trip. From that time on, she devoted her life to art.
Karen's art has also been influenced by her time spent in New Mexico. Like other artists, who paint New Mexico scenes, Karen is taken with, “ its amazing atmospheric light and colorful cultures.” On returning from her first trip there, she says, “ I packed up everything and was living in Santa Fe a month later.” She now lives in Colorado with her family, but she is still drawn to Taos and Northern New Mexico, “for inspiration.”
Karen studied painting and graphic design at Colorado State University, where she received a BFA degree in 1985. She since has attended numerous painting workshops and life drawing classes. Karen also holds a BA in history and has a teaching certificate in Art for K-12 from the University of Colorado. She has taught graphic design at Denver Institute of Technology.
In addition to her experience as fine art painter, she has also worked as a freelance illustrator/graphic designer, owned her own commercial design studio, and worked as an illustrator/designer for a publisher of quilting magazines. She also owned an Art Gallery in historic downtown Niwot.
Her varied work has included commissions by the Colorado Business Bank in Louisville, Colorado, for whom she painted large works for display in the bank’s main lobby, a Betty Ford Alpine Gardens Exhibit and fundraiser held in Vail, Colorado, an entry in a National Juried Exhibition at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena, Montana, entitled, "Contemporary Works of Faith," a juried exhibit at the Schumacher Gallery of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, "The Look of Love," a juried all media art competition at the John Nichols Gallery in Santa Paula, California, and a national juried exhibition, titled, "Lines into Shapes" at the Art Center of Estes Park, Colorado.
Karen exhibits her art nationally and regionally and has clients in the US and abroad. Karen’s studio is in Boulder.
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