Karen Nunley

Facebook  Karen McCulloch Nunley
Monotype Guild of New England  http://mgne.org/gallery/karen-nunley/


When did art become a pursuit for you?

Although I enjoyed drawing from the time I could pick up a pencil, I didn’t take much time for art until I took time off from work when my children were young. My first art class was at the YWCA in Westborough, a watercolor class taught by Cheryl Griffiths, an early ArtsWorcester member. Her encouragement gave me a push to think of myself as an artist.

Are you self-taught or formally educated in visual art?

I focused on languages and teaching in college and my working life was mostly in high tech and business. In the 1990s I began taking art classes at Worcester Art Museum. Since then I have taken a number of workshops and classes with artists I admire, but much of what I do I have come to through experimentation.

How did you first become involved with ArtsWorcester?

I became a member in the 1990’s. In the 2000’s I was asked to join the exhibit committee. I was on that committee for many years before coming onto the board where I served for 5 years, coming off in 2016.

What medium do you currently work in, and how did you choose this medium?

I do mostly watercolors and printmaking, sometimes incorporating other materials. Watercolor is quick, portable, and spontaneous which seems to work with my life. I belong to Blackstone Print Studio where I have access to printing presses. Monotypes also allow me to be spontaneous and I use water-based, non-toxic inks.

What is your creative process?

I work quickly! I rarely labor for weeks over a piece. I take a watercolor class at the Wellesley College Greenhouses and that pushes me to finish a watercolor painting in a week. I have access to the print studio on Tuesdays and generally try to spend the day there making prints. I sometimes come in with an idea, but usually go with the flow and follow where the work leads me.

How do you choose your subject matter? Are there themes that recur throughout your work?

Usually there is something that grows in my work, like plants and people. I have been working recently with an abstract motif that came from drawings I had done of a flattened ceiling fan. The original shape has changed as I’ve worked with it and has developed plant and human traits. At least that is how I see them!

What living artists are you inspired by?

I love the work of Shirley Trevena, a British artist, who does splashy, colorful, organic watercolors. The figurative paintings of Cynthia Packard who lives in Provincetown also inspire me.

Do you own any art by other artists?

I have work by many local artists — Jackie Ross, Susan Swinand, John LePrade, Peter Wise, Randy Lesage, Cheryl Griffiths, Christine Cross, Amy Klausmeyer, Donna Talman, Patti Kelly, to name a few. They are treasures that I enjoy looking at everyday.

What other media or directions would you like to explore?

I have lots of ideas for themes I’d like to use in my work. I recently bought soy-based intaglio inks, which I plan to use in my monotypes.

Family Reunion, enhanced monotype, 20″ x 16″