The image above is of "First Turn Burn" which was selected by the Booth Western Museum in Cartersville, Georgia as part of their permanent collection. "The Booth Western Art Museum was very pleased to be able to acquire Karen Cooper's "First Turn Burn" for its permanent collection. This is a great example from an important woman artist and adds an exciting cowgirl subject to boot." Seth Hopkins, Executive Director
My work begins with a detailed study and drawing of the selected composition. During this phase I decide what will be painted and what will be left to the black of the paper. It is the key to the success of the end result. All of my works are accomplished with soft pastels on black pastel paper. The paper is very “toothy”, therefore, holds many layers of color and requires no fixatives. The result is depth and luminosity like you’ve never seen before in 2D work.
Each piece begins with a contrasting underpainting, upon which I build several layers of color until I attain the desired end result. My subjects are partial images on the black paper relying heavily on negative space to convey each composition. Everything I do to a painting is intended to bring focus to the image, including the custom framing. I use only the best framing materials including Museum Glass. Recently, I have gone to custom wood frames to outline my works; the effect is spectacular!
Most of the reference materials gathered for my work come from me or my husband, a professional photographer. We go to the pueblos, the powwows, the rodeos, the team roping practices and contests, the barns, the corrals, the back roads and the front roads to gather our materials. As a result, every painting is a depiction of a real event and moment in time, which I share with each and every collector if they want to hear it.
In the case of a commission, I will use the reference materials of the commissioner in order to make the painting personal and to their satisfaction.
Artwork pricing is not an easy task; even talking about it can create quite a stir of opinions among artists, collectors and gallery owners; that in mind, I believe I have priced my work fairly. Pieces of the same size, or even larger or smaller, vary in price depending on the complexity of the composition and the amount of work required to that end. I choose not to haggle over pricing so please do not embarrass either one of us by asking for a reduced price. These are originals created by me in my studio—they have value. My paintings are originals accomplished with unique style and technique, as such I can guarantee that every image acquired through me, my studio/gallery in Santa Fe or the fine arts galleries representing me will be one-of-a-kind with no reproductions made or planned of the subject work. Many people who wish to own one of my works have asked why I do not do prints. It is a choice that I made some time ago. I tried to do prints at one time but it really went against my grain. My works hang in many different collections. When the owner looks at it they know and can say with pride that this is the only one like it in the world; now that really says something! Note: Cheyenne Frontier Days has two recognition awards that they give out each year. In 2010, I was selected to be the 2011 CFD Official Poster, which is a print of my work embellished with the CFD logo and event declarations. In 2011, I was selected to be the 2012 CFD Western Art Show Limited Edition Print Artist, which I accepted gleefully. In 2014 I was again chosen to be the 2015 Official Poster Artist. Both are in contradiction to the preceding paragraph as they are reproductions of my work. I apologize to anyone who finds this confusing but the decision I made was based on the honor and distinction of the awards.
Blues over Panama.
After dinner, after clean up, just before leaving for home, one last look at the setting where once wine, repast and meaningful conversation was shared with friends.
Art BC Studio