Go back to all news

Meet the Artist: Karen Lixenberg

31 March 2020

ezgif 5 840b0e7a4ecd 1

The pop-up art exhibition at our Babbacombe development has been very popular but with the current climate, we’ve decided to pause the event for the time being. The health of our staff, owners and visitors is our highest priority and we are diligently following guidance from the government around the global health crisis and impact of COVID-19 across the UK.

However, our community is also important to us so we’re continuing to feature the amazing artists and their work for you to see. In this edition of the series, we’re speaking to painter Karen Lixenberg. 

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?
I’ve been painting since I was 13 years and am self-taught, though I did attend St. Martin’s School of Art – or Central Saint Martin’s as it’s now known. I’ve always needed to paint and having two children has only added to the creative process. 

Do you have a favourite medium and why?
I prefer oil paint on canvas, but I do also occasionally create clay sculptures. 

How do you begin a piece? Is there a particular creative process you follow?
As I’m self-taught, my technique has grown and evolved organically. I’ve always been fascinated by portraits and capturing the essence of a person, but I’ll paint anything from abstract through to figurative images.

The way in which I begin a piece varies; sometimes it comes from a dream, others it’s just starting with a line and seeing the image flow from there. I like the process of mixing colour on the canvas and seeing the resulting soft but rich appearance it creates. 

What have you been working on lately?
My last two paintings were very different. One was very figurative with one of the figures actually leaving the canvas, whilst the other was totally abstract, coming from an astrological placement in my star chart. It’s not something I’ve ever done before so it was a very interesting process. 

What inspires you to create your pieces?
My inspiration comes to me in many ways – dreams, landscapes, conversations, real world events, you name it. Being of Russian/Polish/Jewish descent, I love artists like Mark Chagall and René Magritte. 

What does a day in the life of a professional artist look like?
I don’t know about anyone else, but when I’m in the middle of a painting I usually keep at it without much of a break, even if it’s into the early hours of the morning. Then I might go through a period where I don’t paint at all and just go about daily life. 

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Just keep painting and drawing, working on the coordination of mind, eye and hand. Art is a lifetime process and will grow of its own volition.