This week we’re experimenting with inks in our new Arty Afternoon video, thanks to a wonderful contribution by landscape and still life artist, Karen Camkin. 

To watch and follow along, please click on the ‘Play’ button below

Having grown up in Warwickshire and Gloucestershire, Karen has spent a lifetime roaming the countryside, which is where her attachment to the natural world developed. 

Her appreciation for wildlife and green spaces has inspired her artwork since studying Fine Art at Exeter College of Art in the late eighties. Following her time here, Karen spent subsequent years designing for companies including John Lewis, Designers Guild and Camden Graphics. 

Prior to her studies in Exeter, Karen had also studied a Foundation in Art and Design at Cheltenham Art College and returned there to complete an MA in Fine Art in 2012. 

Karen believes that the explorations and possibilities with creative materials are as important as the subject, a sentiment reflected in both her gorgeously vibrant work and in today’s video. 

Her paintings are built up with many layers, which are then scratched into, wiped out and painted and drawn over and over again. Not only does this mean that there is absolutely no pressure to create the perfect piece in only one attempt, it also helps Karen to create intimate, studied portraits that are more about discovery than the literal. Her passion lies in attempting to capture and express what is moving and powerful about nature and now that she’s shared a little of her creative wisdom, hopefully you will be able to harness this energy at home too. 

In this particular video, Karen uses Indian Inks and pens, placing emphasis less on creating a finished piece and more on familiarising yourself and really engaging with the beauty of whatever it is you are studying. 

It’s a beautiful, relaxing contribution to our series and one which we hope will help to bring the infinite delight of art to you at home. We are so grateful to Karen for encouraging all of us to simply enjoy using artistic materials, whether this be inks, oils, watercolours, or simply a pen and for inspiring everyone to enjoy the illusive pleasure of looking intently at those little things we may otherwise take for granted.