Artist Karen Johnston

An example of fine art by Karen Johnston

Photo of Karen Johnston


Nashville-based artist Karen Johnston intuitively tucks wisps of emotion into painted layers of nature and life. Her process produces images that suggest a feeling of familiarity, yet spur the imagination to reach for a personal sense of meaning. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she was born into a family of musicians, yet chose a visual path. She was classically trained at the Columbus College of Art and Design, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Illustration with a minor in Advertising. After working commercially, her art expanded from realism to abstraction as she continued to experiment and hone an inmost artistic vision. An ultimate focus on abstract expressionism granted her the freedom to give combined visual life to emotion, knowledge, and energy. Her affection for drawing and writing remains at the heart of her practice and flows into her work as loose, mixed media line work and expressionistic marks.
Alongside daily time in her home studio, Karen enjoys teaching the abstract process and spending time outdoors to stay refreshed and inspired. Her award-winning work has been featured in solo, group, and juried shows and can be found in numerous private collections across the country. Equally passionate about projects that integrate the arts with healthcare and well-being, she collaborates with community organizations that foster connection, accessibility, and growth through the arts. She is an active member of the Nashville Artist Guild, Contemporary Collective, and Healing Power of Art and Artists. Karen adores sharing life with her family of five and studio pup named Maisy. 
1996                   BFA Illustration (Advertising minor), Columbus College of Art and Design, 
                                 magna cum laude, (CCAD Advancement Scholarship-1996, CCAD Illustration
                                 Scholarship-1995, CCAD [...]

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