Artists of Note | Karen Budan

A touch of nostalgia

Karen Budan, Marbles IV, oil, 16 x 20.

Karen Budan, Marbles IV, oil, 16 x 20.

This story was featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

Toy airplanes. Shiny marbles. Striped candy canes. Welcome to the still-life world of Karen Budan. The 
Arizona-based artist relishes dishing 
up a heady dose of nostalgia along with a dash of humor in her paintings. For 
example, the title of a recent work that features a toy truck spewing marbles is HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MARBLES?

After more than three decades as an educator, school superintendent, and consultant, Budan began pursuing fine art full time in 2009. During her former career in education, she continued to take art workshops while also painting in her spare time. Initially her medium of choice was pastel, until two years ago, when she began working in oils, too. Budan’s mastery of each medium is demonstrated in the fact that she recently had a painting on view in the annual Oil Painters of America Western Regional Exhibition, and next month, a pastel work is included in the International Guild of Realism 
Juried Exhibition at Robert Lange Studios in Charleston, SC.

While she admired and learned much from her main instructor, Richard McKinley, she found that when she tried to imitate his loose, impressionistic style, she kept leaning toward tighter realism. A more photo-realistic sensibility suited her hyper-organized personality and her inclination to want total control over the subject, composition, lighting, and time frame. “I am not an artist who is trying to make a comment on society,” Budan says. “I paint because I love the way light reflects off of objects. I want people to see the light and beauty before them in ordinary objects they look at every day.” —Bonnie Gangelhoff

Budan is represented by Simon Gallery of Fine Art, Tucson, AZ.

Featured in the October 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art October 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

Subscribe to Southwest Art magazine
Learn how to paint & how to draw with downloads, books, videos & more from North Light Shop
Sign up for your Southwest Art email newsletter & download a FREE ebook