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Making me think!

I was very grateful to be invited to answer a series of questions for Salisbury Arts Scene.

What is the best part of your job? There isn’t one thing I don’t like about my job. To be able to create artwork and the infrastructure around it, in business terms, to make the whole thing work is wonderful. What does your art mean to you? I couldn’t be without it. I dedicate all my time to painting and working on my business. Planning and starting a new painting is the most exciting thing to me. Exhibiting the work is what it’s all about. Do you come from a family of artists? My father was an artist, he was especially fantastic at life drawing. I was bought up with art being a very large part of my life. How do you feel the arts community, in general, could be better supported? I believe the power of the arts is underestimated by local businesses across the UK. Since the pandemic the high street is changing; people are going online to buy the items they know and don’t need to see, this is leaving room for artisans and creators to have a platform in our high streets. Come on landlords and councils give us space for pop-ups, workshops and studios!! What or who inspires you most?

The American abstract expressionists. Name three artists who inspire you.

Sorry, I couldn’t stick to three!!

I am inspired by the power of Franz Kline and Robert Motherwell, the drama and energy of Willem de Kooning’s women series and the intensity of Marc Rothko’s coloured canvases. Vincent Van Gogh will always inspire my colour palette. I’m also blown away by Banksy with his amazing imagination and Francis Bacon with his disturbing, jarring and unsettling works. Do you have a favourite food, drink, type of music?

My favourite food is houmous with pitta bread, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Dry white Italian or French wine for a favourite drink. I like all sorts of music, Indy from the 90’s and all the popular favourites like Bob Marley, Jamiroquai, and Mozart. What is the name of the artist you don’t like?

Mmmmm, this is a difficult one. I appreciate all art, the effort and motivation to produce work even if I don’t particularly understand or enjoy a piece.

I would say that I have found Tracey Emin and her subject matter difficult but actually my reaction to her and her work is to do with my own personal experiences in life. I also struggle with Damien Hurst as an artist with his use of ready-mades as artworks. But then Marcel Duchamp and his ready-mades weren’t accepted at first. Damien Hurst is an amazing businessman though. So, I haven’t really answered that one!! What is your favourite way of showing and promoting your art and why?

I have to say, I have found exhibiting my art in Market Square to be the best experience I have had in my career. It has given me the chance to see that I am the best person to sell my work. I have had great success and will be doing as much as I can using this method. My website has been developing over the years, which now has the capability to sell to visitors.

I promote my work through my ever-growing mailing list where I send a monthly newsletter. I write blogs as often as I can and am understanding social media and the importance of posting every day. This all keeps me very busy, but as you may have guessed - I love what I do! Karen Welsh

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