Karen Morrow: Realistic Paintings, Drawings, and Murals

By Cassie Rief in Featured Artists > Other Mediums

As a child, Karen Morrow taught herself how to draw, and today, her favorite medium still remains colored pencil and graphite. However, she is also proficient with oils, acrylics and watercolors. . . and even creates some truly outstanding murals!

The feel of the countryside setting below is palpable as you take in the spindled fence, rough wood of the barn and rocky terrain. The subject matter is perfect, as well—they say a boy’s best friend is his dog, and that is entirely true of this young man.

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With his weathered boots and large hat, you can imagine what an old hand he must already be on the farm, and although he is growing up so fast (he now must lean down to hug his little buddy) he still has time for sentiments.

The dog basks in his love, leaning into him, tongue out and happy as a clam. Even with all the detail in this scene—warped wood, fine dirt, and every wrinkle in the boy’s outfit—our attention is on the duo themselves, viewing their endearing relationship caught in time.

And now for one of Karen’s fantastic murals. . . what person hasn’t dreamed about going to their stone terrace and looking over the quiet countryside at dusk, a glass of wine in hand? Karen makes that vision a reality below.

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Rolling hills glint softly as the sun sinks, and trees mask the lush greenery of the hillside with their looming shadows. Even the stone archways and hanging lanterns have a perfected realism that makes me take a second and third peek solely to determine if they are illusion or real.

In that way, I’m quite dumbfounded by Karen’s expertise at creating such lifelike third dimensionality. Her use of illusion is absolutely perfect, creating a wondrous vision of beautiful sun-lit hills and valleys.

Lastly, I had to share this drawing, just for it’s stark, amazing impact. Do you recall what it looks like when fireworks go off and you see a blinding flash, or when the sun sizzles atop metal outside, casting a blaring light in every direction? That’s what this piece reminds me of.

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The stark white of the background, and bright highlights throughout the drawing create the feeling of a scorching hot summer day. Two horses stand under the tree, grateful for what little shade it provides, while the ancient tree and rickety fence show signs of their battle against earth’s greatest elements.

Despite the heat and intense contrast, the simple presence of the gangly foal, taking its first few steps at its mother’s side breathes new life on the scene, a reminder of the wonders of life and new beginnings.

Karen’s artistic interests are varied as her skillset. Visit her website today to see all of her latest work, including a plethora of various stylistic paintings and drawings (I especially like her Foodtoons, Costa Rica, and Textures and Faux portfolios!) I guarantee you’ll love it!


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