Marlborough artist Karen Neal has always had a love of art, animals and wildlife, nature and travel. Studying Art to Bursary level at secondary school, life’s many twists and turns lead Karen away from a dream of studying a Fine Arts degree, opting to travel instead. Over those years she has worked in a variety of roles including administration and graphic design, whilst only painting or drawing occasionally. Her passion for art, particularly wildlife and portraits, was reignited in 2009, realising that traditional art is simply what she loves to do, finally finding a niche as an ‘artist’.
Self-taught and happily working from her beachside studio in the beautiful Marlborough region of Rarangi, Karen paints in a variety of mediums including Oils and Pastel, and also a relatively new medium to New Zealand, Scratchboard. Scratchboard is a process of etching/scratching subtractively with abrasive tools such as a scalpel blade or tattoo needles, to remove the top surface of black indian ink to expose the secondary layer of white kaolin clay underneath.
Karen has won several national awards including the Supreme Winner for the Nelson Impres- sions Art Awards, 2nd in the national PANZ Purely Pastel, and 2nd in the Peters Doig Marlbor- ough Awards. In 2014 Karen was juried in as a Master Scratchboard Artist (MSA) of the International Society of Scratchboard Artists, and honorary recipient of ‘Artist Member’ with PANZ (Pastel Artists of NZ).