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Style Magazine

Karen Burns

Jul 31, 2013 02:21AM ● By Style

Photo by Dante Fontana, © Style Media Group

Author Karen Clark said, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

Granite Bay artist Karen Burns looks at many different images and captures them with her camera; then, using her amazing talent and a combination of different editing and artistic techniques, she changes them into something extraordinary.

Working with photos as diverse as flowering trees from her backyard and Old Sacramento sidewalks to bicycles parked along Italian alleyways, she turns to several computer programs to augment each image. “I enhance the original image to focus on the [photo’s] key elements,” Burns explains. Although nature inspires her, she also loves to focus on architectural details, such as doors and knockers. “Once the image is in the computer,” Burns says, “I’m often surprised by the details that emerge—those I didn’t originally see with the camera.”

She loves to photograph locally and takes her camera with her on daily walks, as well as on road trips and international excursions. With her expert eye, she creates still lives of all types of scenes and also finds action shots, such as an Italian housewife hanging her laundry. “I love laundry shots; it was really exciting to get the woman in action,” Burns says. After the image is printed and the gallery wrapped, she adds acrylic paint to the surface. “When I apply paint, it adds more texture and dimension,” Burns says.


Summer Ripe

The artist honed her sense of color while working as a professional quilter, where she created hand-sewn art pieces for a variety of international shows. “Life changes and I changed with it...I got tired of sewing and picked up a camera,” the busy mom and homemaker says.

In 2012, Burns became really inspired. A representative from San Francisco’s renowned De Young Museum was judging artwork at a fundraiser for Roseville’s Blue Line Arts. Her piece depicting six rental bicycles resting on an ancient wall in Sorrento, Italy, was selected in the top five among the 100 pieces he viewed. “Having one of my pieces chosen in the top five,” Burns admits, “helped give validation for what I do.”

Burns is a member of Blue Line Arts, and her work will be included in the gallery’s Membership Medley show through August 24. She also has work available for view and purchase at Bushnell Gardens Nursery’s Home and Garden Shop in Granite Bay. “I love Karen’s work,” Shelby Bushnell, the nursery’s co-owner, explains. “[It] has a fun, vibrant whimsy that invites you in.” It’s important to the nursery’s owners that they support artists in the area. Bushnell prizes her own collection of Burns’ work. “I am proud to hang her art in my home,” she says.

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