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KAREN VEAL IS PAINTING FROM HER HEART BY MEREDITH HUNTER

K

aren Veal was born an artist. The type of artist who likes to work with a variety of mediums. The type of artist who likes to help others discover their creative side and believes all art is beautiful if painted from the heart. “As long as I can remember, I’ve always been an artist,” said Karen. Raised in Newell, West Virginia, a small town with a one-stop light and a population under 1,500, she grew up exploring the banks of the Ohio River with her five older siblings. Newell is the home of the Homer Laughlin China Company, makers of the wellknown Fiestaware, and Karen’s mother, sisters and many other family members work or worked there as potters. “When I was a child, my mother would bring home lumps of clay from the pottery, and I would sculpt it,” Karen remembered, “I was always asking for clay.” Sculpting is something Karen would like to revisit. Not surprising given her sentimental connection as well as her fearlessness when it comes to trying new mediums. She works with watercolor, mixed media, oil, encaustic (a mixed media technique using heated beeswax and colored pigments) and photography. What’s her favorite medium? In a soft, unassuming voice, Karen shared her love of watercolor and credits her local, 85-year-old mentor for growing and encouraging her watercolor skills. “Nell Schulz has been my mentor for over 20 years. She

tallahassee woman | 24 | october • november 2019

treats me like a daughter and gives me art and personal advice.” A self-taught artist, Karen has no formal training. “I made good grades in school, yet art was always my favorite subject. I desperately wanted to study at the Pittsburgh Art Institute, but my family did not have the money,” Karen said. So, she joined the Air Force. It was a decision that brought Karen to Tyndall Air Force Base, introduced her to the Florida Panhandle and ultimately to her current home in Shell Point. She exudes happiness when describing the peace, she enjoys living by the water and the blessings of kind neighbors. All of which inspire her art and her desire to give back to the community she values and appreciates. Many of Karen’s paintings have nautical themes—a favorite subject is mermaids. Karen also gets requests to do pet portraits. Some of her cat creations are featured at Tallahassee’s Fat Cat Café. “Everyone loves their pets,” Karen said knowingly as she confided, “My boyfriend is a photographer, and we have the most photographed dog at Shell Point…Google the Goldendoodle.” She also has a cat named Heidi Klum. Karen excitedly described the many ways she shares the wonders of painting with others and the reward she feels when she sees the pride and pleasure it brings. “I hope to encourage life-long artists. Sometimes, I give some of my supplies away to someone who shows potential

Profile for Tallahassee Woman Magazine

Tallahassee Woman Magazine October/November 2019  

The October-November issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine celebrates creative women! TWM takes a closer look at the artful lives of Women Emp...

Tallahassee Woman Magazine October/November 2019  

The October-November issue of Tallahassee Woman Magazine celebrates creative women! TWM takes a closer look at the artful lives of Women Emp...

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