Gallery Artists > Karen Noles Biography :

Karen Noles (b. 1947)  Artworks >>

Living and working in Polson, Montana between Missoula and Kalispell, she paints Indian figures, primarily portraits of children, that reflect her exposure to the Flathead Indian Reservation which borders her home and studio. It is a wide open area with roaming wildlife and feeds the soul of this artist who finds it both a wonderful place to live and a hard place to make a living. She has chosen her subject matter because she is so committed to the warmth of the relationships she has with the Indians and also from her admiration of the honest and spontaneous response to life of children. She strives for work that is peaceful and serene in tone, that which elevates the human spirit. She was born in the small town of Merna, Nebraska, and her kindergarten teacher as well as her and father and mother encouraged her obvious early art talent. When she went out on dates, she sometimes had to get permission by satisfying her parents request for a painting. Her family was poor, leaving no resources for art lessons, but in high school, she took a correspondence course from the University of Nebraska. Then her parents paid for a commercial art course in Omaha, and from that exposure, she was hired at age nineteen by a representative of Hallmark Cards in Kansas City. Then she married and moved to California, where she worked in San Diego for Buzza-Gibson, another card company. Sometime later, she and her husband and four-month old daughter moved to the Northwest, and for ten years, she did free lance illustrations for Roth International, a California Company. The couple built a log house with a large studio area for her, and she works eight hours a day, primarily pursuing her own fine art. She takes a lot of photographs on location and then does her drawing on canvas with an umber wash. Her work is extremely detailed, and she strives for a translucent quality so her subject looks real with emotions and attitudes. She is particularly interested in native costumes of her subjects and spends many hours on the details of the beadwork and other adornments. SOURCE

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