Name: Karen Wysopal
Occupation: “I've been a full-time artist since September 2015. Before that I had a 25-year career in software quality assurance.”
Hometown: “I grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts.”
Exhibit: “For this month's Arts Walk, my 'official' exhibit is entitled 'Freedom.' However, the info for the Arts Walk press releases is submitted up to two months prior to the walk, and between that time and the actual Arts Walk, things in the studio often go in other directions. I usually have two or more different projects going at once. Another body of work which came together this month is based on a process called 'Intuitive Painting.' I'll be showing a lot of work from that project as well.”
Location: Karen Wysopal Studio, 230 SW Third St., Suite No. 208A.
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Medium(s): “I work in alcohol ink and in acrylic.”
About the exhibit "Freedom": “As an artist, I’m always struggling with freedom: Freedom to make mistakes, to leave white space, To stay with simplicity, to let it be 'enough.'
“This body of work — large alcohol ink abstracts on canvas — strives for minimalism while still affecting meaning and beauty. This series comes at a time when our political freedoms, many of which we grew up with and have come to take for granted, are threatened.
"The paintings intend to invoke the question, 'What if?' What if it could have been? What if it won’t be? What if it’s enough just exactly the way it is?”
Inspiration: “Other artwork. Other artists' use of color and texture. The process of interacting with art materials. Nature.”
Impact on viewer: “I love making art that makes people feel good. I work primarily in bright vivid colors, and this seems to bring joy to a lot of people. I also love it when people tell me what they see in my abstracts, or about a special place in their lives that one of my landscapes reminds them of.”
Previous exhibits: “Locally: The Arts Center, LBCC, and several other venues. I open my studio every month for the Corvallis Arts Walk. I have an upcoming exhibit at Imagine Coffee, with local artist Rachel Urista, for the month of April.
“Outside Corvallis: The Big 500 art show in Portland and Las Laguna Gallery in Laguna Beach, California.”
What should people know: “I started selling greeting cards of my artwork locally last year. I needed an income, and the cards were selling well, so in September I decided to take the business national. Now I have two sales reps and 39 retail stores carrying my cards in seven different states across the country. Income from the business covers my studio rent and all my art supplies. And this is just the beginning! It's been really exciting for me knowing that my art is reaching so many people beyond our local community.”