Karen Bonnie is a nationally recognized equine and western artist, being awarded the “Tuffy Berg Award” in 2004 as the most promising new artist at the C.M. Russell Museum Show and Sale. Karen has been passionate about horses and horse cultures since she can remember, and has shared her life with them since she was 19, learning dressage first in the Midwest, then moving out West where she works her longhorn cattle and gathers cattle for others in the mighty San Juan Mountains of southern Colorado. She has a particular understanding of horse structure and movement.
“I am working primarily with oil bars over a detailed drawing. Oil bars are a traditional method of using oil paint mixed with wax, giving a more substantial feel to the medium. Colors are mixed on the painting rather than on the palette, and it frees me up a bit and leaves traces of the process there for the viewer to experience. The texture of the panel picks up paint in a random fashion, giving the painting life and realism without being fussy. I often paint my subjects in low light as at the end or beginning of the day, symbolizing inner stillness and the promise of a new beginning. The subjects I paint are about the life I know, the beauty of the landscape, the animals I know so well and ranch life with all its challenges and rewards.”