Karri Jamison is a professional nature painter whose unique style of art merges two painting genres: abstract expressionism and realism. Karri’s work features stark black and white backgrounds combined with meticulously hand drawn and painted nature iconography. Her current series of paintings showcase the birds and woodlands of the Midwest. All the scenes in Karri’s paintings are her own composition, inspired by her time spent in nature. Often, clients ask Karri if her work is digital or photography. While flattering, the answer is, no. Each painting is meticulously drawn and painted free-hand. The average time it takes Karri to paint a painting is 300-3200 hours. The only tools she uses to create her highly detailed paintings are: acrylic paint, graphite pencil, and paint brushes the size of two human hairs.
Karri starts each painting by prepping the canvas in a special way to get the graphite to stick to it. This is a secret process she developed herself through trial and error while getting her painting degree. This process can take up to a month for larger canvases. Karri then throws, whirls, and drips black and white acrylic paint onto the canvas to create an abstract expression background. She then starts the labor-intensive process of hand drawing over the acrylic paint to create the trees and plant life in her paintings. Sometimes sharpening her pencil every thirty seconds to get all the fine lines and pencil marks. Karri’s last step is to hand paint over the layer of pencil using a paint brush the size of two hairs. Each painting is meticulously researched and designed before starting. Making sure each detail is scientifically accurate. For example, Karri loves to make sure the plant life has the correct number of leaves or is indigenous to the scene or would be present during the time of year depicted. Karri also uses a ruler when she paints to make sure the birds are as atomically correct as possible. On average Karri spends 10-40 hours of research on each painting.
Karri’s favorite subject matter to paint is birds and trees. In fact, she considers herself a “bird-nerd” and often can be found traipsing through marshes, woodlands, and prairies looking for birds to study and paint. “Birds are a huge part of my life. Each bird has a unique personality that I try to capture in my paintings. The patterns on their feathers are so intricate, I can’t help but enjoy the beautiful challenge each bird represents.” Karri’s goal as a nature painter is to provide the service of bringing beauty, joy, memory, and awareness to her customers. To Karri it is the greatest honor when someone wants to wake up and see her art on their wall every day. Karri’s art becomes a part of her customer’s living environment. It creates an experience. Many times, she will have clients tell her that her art reminds them of past loved ones, or experiences they’ve had in nature with the people they love. To Karri, no greater compliment can be given.
Karri’s modern nature series has been well received by private, public, and corporate collectors. Karri has received 23 awards in the past 4 years for her artwork. Including, Best in Show at the St. Charles Art Fair, the Merit Award at the Uptown Art Festival, and the Award of Excellence at the Edina Art Fair. Karri graduated from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee-Peck School of The Arts in 2007 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Painting & Drawing.