Meet 46 year old Philippine, Karen Sioson, a full time artist, who lives with her family by the countryside and has 12 very affectionate and rowdy dogs. She is very active in the promotion of watercolor art and also very involved in IWS Philippines and the Philippine Guild of Watercolorists.
Her journey with watercolors started in college, when a part of the course requirement for Interior Design was rendering in watercolors. “I was having trouble with the medium so, I felt challenged to learn it. After I received my degree in Interior Design, I just continued exploring and painting in watercolors first as a hobby and then gradually I became passionate, which eventually turned into a career choice thanks to the advent of internet. I posted an artwork and was discovered by a collector,” says Karen.
While the initial years were full of hard work, the artists found the painting part to be easier than its promotion and thus learnt about marketing, promoting and managing the business. “I have yet to do a solo exhibition but have participated in several local group exhibitions as well as several international exhibitions.”
Karen started painting in 1993 but only in 2010 did she become a full time artist. “Do the best you can at all times; paint with best effort, use the best materials, and learn effective marketing. Your career will not advance even if you paint very well and people have no way to see your work or if they have no way to contact you,” remarks she.
Karen’s Bougainvillea water color painting is phenomenal, the petals and leaves are so finely painted that the first glimpse makes you feel it’s a photograph. “That painting is one of my favorites too. Flowers are a passion not just to paint but also to cultivate although I have better skills at painting than gardening. I like flowers because it allows me to play a lot with colors and I am fascinated by how logical every structure or part of plant is.”
“I do tend to paint flowers and nature more than anything else because these are the subjects most requested by clients. Sometimes, it becomes funny actually. There was this season I got a complaint from a viewer that I paint only hibiscuses. I had to explain that after the first posting of a hibiscus painting, several collectors wanted the same subject so I continued to paint more of it! I do try my hand at other subjects. I make sure the studying and learning is continuous.”
“Life, it really is beautiful. We all should stop every now and then and take time to appreciate the beauty around us. That is what I try to capture on paper… the good things around us and the hope it brings,” summarizes Karen.