When she discovered watercolor in 1989, Kaaren Oreck finally felt she had found the perfect medium for her work. In her words, "Watercolor is a medium that is just as beautiful three inches away as it is across the room." Travels and exhibitions in Japan have provided much of her current inspiration -- many wonderful complex patterns seem to combine with beautiful simplicity in Japanese life. And flowers, always an inspiration, seem more highly treasured in Wisconsin because of the long winters. Whether her subject matter comes from just around the corner or from halfway around the world, she feels that watercolor can portray the color of the world in its brightest light and darkest shadow with equal excitement.
After she has taken photo images that are interesting and exciting to her, Kaaren manipulates them to eliminate the extraneous details and develop those that will convey what she has envisioned. She uses a very limited palette to create unity in her paintings, working in many transparent layers on both wet and dry paper.
Kaaren lived in many parts of the country before moving to Madison, Wisconsin, where she currently resides. After getting a BS in nursing from Boston University, she began taking every available art class, whether college courses or private. A friend jokingly called Kaaren "the queen of workshops," but she feels very fortunate to have studied with so many wonderful teachers. Her paintings have been juried into numerous exhibitions in Wisconsin and across the country and have won many awards. She is a Signature Member of the National Watercolor Society, the Louisiana Watercolor Society, and the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, as well as a member of several other art societies, with professional status in Wisconsin Visual Artists. She also has served as a board member of the Transparent Watercolor Society of America (TWSA). In 2005, Kaaren was selected as the featured artist for WHA -- Wisconsin Public Television -- and her paintings are included in Pouring Transparent Watercolors by Jean Grastorf and The Artistic Touch 4 by Chris Unwin.
Please visit Kaaren's website to see more of her work.