Strength is Beautiful – California Art Club Show at Pasadena Women’s City Club

“Strength is Beautiful” 15 x 22 watercolor

Yesterday I got the very good news that this painting (and an oil painting landscape, which I will post soon) has been accepted into the next California Art Club show at the Women’s City Club in Pasadena. The show will run for six months beginning Saturday, June 23 with an artists’ reception on July 12.

I am absolutely thrilled to have this portrait included. The theme of the show is Natural Beauty and I love the look of beauty and strength in her face, which I attempted to capture in transparent watercolor. I found it challenging to paint African-American skin tones because there is such a wide range of values. The light-struck side of her face is quite pale, but the deep shadowed side is rich with color. Making the transition work was the objective, without resorting to using many small brushstrokes and ‘overworking’ it. Her beautiful wavy hair was the most fun to paint as I used negative painting to separate the tendrils. I chose a blue background for this lovely woman because I thought the blue would be a good complement to the rich warm browns of her complexion. Her garment was left understated as all the attention is really on her face.

Well, that’s about all I can think to say about it, but if you have any questions about it, please feel free to ask.

And don’t forget – this weekend … The Sierra Madre Art Fair in Sierra Madre’s Memorial Park 9:30 -6 Sat and 9:30-5 Sunday.


  1. Bill
    May 16, 2008

    Excellent work, Karen, a difficult but successful work, which shows the depth of your skills.

  2. Laura
    May 16, 2008

    Strength IS beautiful and that painting is both, to the nth degree!! Congratulations, dear Karen–what fine, fine, fine work!

  3. Shirley
    May 16, 2008

    Gorgeous! I can see why it was accepted and will be posted. I’m in love with your watercolor technique….

  4. Cathy (Kate) Johnson
    May 16, 2008

    That is just fantastic, Miss Karen…strength IS beautiful and so is your wonderful depiction of it.

  5. Marian Fortunati
    May 16, 2008

    Congratulations, Karen!
    This is a beautiful piece and I look forward to seeing it in person at the show.

  6. Ann
    May 16, 2008

    Yes, congratulations!! You have been doubly rewarded for your talent and hard work. This is a remarkable piece.

  7. Susan
    May 16, 2008

    Karen, I’m thrilled for you. Firstly that you have taught yourself to create such beauty and secondly, to be recognized for it.

  8. Luba
    May 17, 2008

    Congratulations, I am very happy for you! You are very talented and create wonderful paintings.

  9. PamYla
    May 17, 2008

    Congratulations Karen! What a beautiful painting. The best to you :)

  10. Sherry
    May 17, 2008

    Kudos to you! You are right, your subject has an air of strength and real beauty.

  11. Chris
    May 17, 2008

    I do so love your watercolors……….

  12. Sue A
    May 17, 2008

    This is spectacular – the background, the lightighting, her face – it’s so serene. Congratulations on it being accepted in that show too. :)

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