Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Karen Stiehl Osborn - Omaha, Nebraska

1. How do you describe yourself? I’m an artist, lucky enough to work in multiple mediums.

2. What is your creative process? Generally, my topic is something that has emotionally impacted me. It could have started with a photograph I took, or an experience I had. My first step is to loosely write down my thoughts, kind of an initial artist statement. This statement helps to keep me focused on my goal for the work. Once that is down on paper, and I have a general idea of the design of the work, I start painting cloth and/or paper for it. Then it is a matter of cutting and piecing it together on the design wall until I am satisfied with the base layer. After the base layer, I go back in and add more layers of materials and more paint until it is finished.

3. What's your style? Abstract. I am never happy when I try to create something figurative, so I have given it up. I love that abstract pieces can incorporate so much personal meaning, yet leave so much open to interpretation by the viewer.

4. How long have you been a quilt maker/fiber artist? I learned to quilt about 20 years ago, but I became a full-time artist in 2004.

5. Do you listen to music when you make art? No. I love jazz music, but when I am creating, I want silence.

6. What do you do when you are blocked creatively? I take my camera and head out to one of my favorite haunts. A few hours of photographing nature or urban deterioration, and I am ready to work in the studio again with a fresh perspective. Sometimes, all that is needed is to switch to a different medium. There are so many options and choices that I rarely feel blocked creatively.

7. Do you teach? Not any more. I have gotten stingy with my time, and I want to spend it all on my own creative pursuits.

8. Are there artistic endeavors that you have yet to do? Weaving. A couple of years ago, I learned paper making and bookbinding. I have enjoyed being able to incorporate both of those processes into my newer work. Now I’d like to learn weaving.

9. How do you balance your family life and art? I am lucky to have a very understanding and supportive husband. He readily pitches in when I am busy in the studio.

10. What is the best part about what you do? Being able to start each day in my studio, doing whatever I want. I feel lucky and blessed, and I am thankful every day that this is my life. When someone connects with my artwork, that is a bonus.

Website: http://www.KarenStiehlOsborn.com
Blog: http://stiehlosborn.blogspot.com

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