MARCH 2018 ISSUE
ARTIST SPOTLIGHT
KAREN SCHWARTZ
All artwork featured in the ARTIST SPOTLIGHT © copyright the respective artist. All rights reserved.
One of my first attempts as an artist occurred in kindergarten and involved a piece of paper and some finger-paints. I loved the
feeling of the paint and moving it around on the paper with my fingers. My finished "masterpiece" was a series of abstract swirls
that, to me, resembled an ocean. I find it interesting that my first exploration into the field of art resulted in a painting that portrayed
an element of nature.
I graduated to sponge painting in the first grade and sponged a tree into existence. What a feeling of creative power! My tree
revealed all the colors of autumn on a crisp, October day. Once again, nature was my subject. My mom was so impressed with
the painting that she displayed it in our kitchen above the radio that we played every morning before going to school. As a budding
artist, it was my first taste of artistic acclaim!
First of all, I would like to say how fortunate I am to be a part of the creation of this journal.
I was excited about the idea from the first time my husband, Doug, shared it with me. He truly
appreciates and understands the many difficulties and frustrations artists face in the pursuit
of their artistic endeavors. I hope this journal will serve to give some of them a place where
they can showcase their work.
Even though photography is my primary artistic discipline today, my journey as an artist began
much earlier in life...long before I ever picked up a camera. As I discovered then, the artistic
tools required to express an appreciation for nature can be as basic as your fingers or even
a sponge.
While I enjoy photographing trees or a beautiful sunset, I found early on as a photographer that I was more attracted to the smaller
subjects in nature that most people pass by. To me, they are as magnificent as any mountain or vast landscape.
Art classes from grade school through high school served to expand my appreciation for art as well as my growing talent as an artist.
After graduation from high school, I attended Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, PA where I earned my Bachelor of Fine Arts
degree in advertising design with a minor in photography. It was there that my creative interest in photography began, more
specifically, macro photography. I greatly benefited from the college experience and truly appreciated the environment of being with
like-minded people, both the students and teachers alike. I made use of my college education by working in the field of advertising for
several years, but continued to maintain an interest in photography.
During such an excursion to a local park, I came upon a leaf laying in the mud. Most people probably would have passed it by without
noticing it. In doing so, they might have even stepped on it. It wasn't a perfect leaf...it was even torn on one side...but it possessed a
natural beauty all it's own. I set up my tripod, attached my camera, and worked on refining the composition until I felt that the leaf had
revealed itself to me. It is during moments like these that I am reminded of the photographer, Minor White, who said, "Be still with
yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence." This affirmation between artist and subject is a special, magical time
for me. When I am deeply involved with photographing something in nature, everything else in the world goes away...and it's just
me and the subject. It's one of the best things about being an artist.
Wanting to advance my photographic skills while concentrating on nature, I signed up for a nature photography workshop led by Douglas Schwartz at The Art Studios in Wilmington, DE.

His workshop was just what I was looking for, combining field sessions with classroom reviews and constructive critiques. Little did I know that Doug would become more than just a workshop leader for me. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last year and have a business together called Schwartz Art.

Three of the websites that we have created are schwartznaturephotography.com (our fine
art prints), artistsarealwaysright.com, and evergreenkeepsakes.com.

Evergreen Keepsakes features a unique line of personalized keepsakes inspired by nature. I wanted to express my love of nature in a product that people could display in their homes and enjoy for many years to come. Available are four different keepsakes: Wedding, Birth, Anniversary and Animal Friends.
My hobby since I was very young has been gardening. I always enjoyed being outdoors surrounded by nature. It seemed only natural
to me, then, that my growing passion for photography would combine with my love for gardening. I found that being out in nature and
creating artistic interpretations of the natural world is what I felt most comfortable doing.
I was pleased with the resulting photograph. I believe it shows that even a leaf in mud can be beautiful...and important. It also makes
me want to continue in my journey as an artist and bring other less noticeable things in nature into the limelight.
Nature is full of many surprises. You never know what is going to reveal itself to you when you are walking along a trail or even
strolling in your own backyard. It's this excitement of discovering something new...a hidden treasure...that drives the need in me
to keep on creating and showing the world the incredible variety and beauty of nature's artistry.
Every journey that Doug and I take together to a park or natural preserve is special because we're husband and wife. Yet, we are also
two artists with two different perspectives on nature. While Doug usually concentrates on his favorite subject...trees, I most often
search to find those little subjects which keep calling out to me.
White Clay Creek State Park, Delaware
Brandywine Creek State Park, Delaware
Beltzville State Park, Pennsylvania
Lehighton, Pennsylvania
Iron Hill New Castle County Park, Delaware
Iron Hill New Castle County Park, Delaware
Cushman Brook, Massachusetts
Hickory Run State Park, Pennsylvania
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