Karen Greager Hall – Grounded in Nature
Karen Greager Hall will introduce her nature-inspired paintings at her Riverview Studio during the 2023 Chatham Studio Tour. Her passion to paint wildlife and landscapes evolved from her childhood of nature adventures with her family in the country near Philadelphia. Those endless nuances of color, light and shapes now inspire her use of watercolors and colored pencils.
She and her sister were encouraged to appreciate artistic activity. “My grandfather was an oil painter. My sister studied painting while I was more interested in sewing.” That interest resulted in a degree in Fashion Design from Drexel University and a 36-year career in the fashion retail business. Ultimately, that business brought Karen to North Carolina. “I was opening a Hecht store in Greensboro and decided to stay.” She and her husband purchased their home in Chatham County in 2016.
Karen’s career as a painter took some time to emerge. “My grandfather gave me a set of oil paints in my 20s. I did one painting – an iris – but was so busy with work that I didn’t paint again for years.” On retirement, Karen began to self-educate in watercolor painting through guidebooks. She has had two mentors, Emma Skurnik and Luna Lee Ray, notable NC artists. What has evolved is a bold vibrant style that captures the essence of the birds, animals and landscapes around her.
“Painting with Watercolor can sometimes be unpredictable but also expressive and rewarding. I am never quite sure how the merging wet colors will interact with each other. This unknown element can intuitively determine the next brush stroke and ultimately the finished painting. Occasionally I add colored pencil for additional vibrancy, energy, line and texture.”
Her work is unique in its density of color, abstract backgrounds behind birds and abstract colorful landscapes. Her paintings are sometimes accented with mixed media effects; colored pencils, watercolor pencils, ink and pastels. “I hope that viewers feel a connection with nature, perhaps a look in a birds eye telling only them a story, or a memory or emotion triggered by an abstract landscape.”
Karen Greager Hall’s art can be seen on Instagram, https://www.studioriverview.com/ or on her presence on the Chatham Artists Guild website at https://chathamartistsguild.org/artists/karen-greager-hall/.
Her beautiful studio will be open to the public the first two weekends in December 2023, where her nature- inspired watercolors will be displayed for the first time.