karen barnard - mixed media artist
Art has been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I began showing and selling my work at the age of 16, in Denver, where I was born and grew up. I was married for a brief time and have two wonderful children. After my divorce, I moved to Ventura in 1982 to start a new and better life.

Raising and caring for my children was my priority during that time, so my passion for art was set aside. My children are now grown. I recently retired from my job as a Product Developer at Patagonia, an apparel company in Ventura. Now that I am retired, my time is my own again and I can dream, play and create as much as I want.

I tend to be an introvert. I have never been completely comfortable with words. I am more of an observer. I love to seek out the smallest of details in all that I see around me. I attempt to share my appreciation for what I see and feel through my art. Creating art makes me feel safe, content and whole. It brings me peace. It is the small, fragile thread that connects me to the world.

Like many artists, I get lost in my work. I become completely absorbed in how all of the lines of ink and paint flow together. I love how the elements within each piece intertwine with each other, just as human lives often do.

I see beauty everywhere and in all things. I love rescuing bits of trash and junk. They find a special place in my work and become part of something unique and beautiful.

I put so much into each piece that it is often hard to let go of them, but I know in my heart, they are not really mine. There is a force outside myself that guides my hand. When I let go and allow myself to be guided by this spirit, amazing things can happen in my art and in my life