**Congratulations Karen Frankel. Winner of the 2018 VAA Second Prize of $2,000 for ‘Banksias’. Sponsored by Vasse Development/Hanson Property and Bendigo Bank Busselton**
“Banksias” are a ubiquitous presence in Western Australia. The image is built up on canvas with textured paper, brown and tissue paper, ink, acrylic and charcoal. Each layer gives direction and surprise to the next. Some layers carry beautiful inks and others depict sharp edges.
BIO: Born in Zimbabwe, Karen Frankel grew up surrounded and influenced by the art of her father, artist Eli Zagoria. With a never-ending supply of creative materials procured from his commercial art studio, the young Karen developed her fascination for mixed media as a precursor to her explorations with ink and paper on canvas today.
Moving to Western Australia in 1984, Karen was captivated by the rugged beauty of the Western Australian landscape. As a largely self-taught artist, Karen broadened her arts practice by taking part in intensive workshops with many renowned artists around Australia including Ian De Souza, Tony Smibert and Judith White. Attracted to the shapes of colour, dark and light, texture and the spaces created between and around subjects, Karen’s mixed media process involves using a variety of paper, inks and acrylic to form rich layers which she then draws onto. This produces vibrant, intense works which illustrate her overriding philosophy – both as an artist and teacher – that the pleasure is in the process, regardless of the end result.
Karen draws inspiration from the world around her – flowers from daily walks and views from travels to the Pilbara and around Australia. She says “There is a magic connection between observation and mark making. I draw people into my paintings by creating works that (initially seem) simple and pleasing yet are complicated by layers that reveal themselves slowly.”
Karen has exhibited extensively across Western Australia, developing a following of devoted workshop participants and collectors. She runs a range of workshops from her studio in Morley and is renowned for her ability to teach beginners in a fun and relaxing way.