In the studio with Karen Wykerd

14 Jan 2016
 StateoftheART artist Karen Wykerd

Favourite material to work with?
Oils, with lots of turps and painting medium as I prefer to work in thin washes and glazes.

What themes do you pursue?
Primarily urban scenes, although I have recently been exploring more organic themes.

How many years an artist?
Have been painting full time for the past eight years.

A painting by Karen Wykerd
 “Buiten Street”

What should people know about your art that they can’t tell from looking at it?
My work is almost like a diary of my daily encounters with the city ,I strive to highlight the beauty of the daily commute, elevating these unassuming everyday scenes. This is achieved by use of colour, light and layers of thin washes transforming these scenes into something dreamlike and worthy of being documented.

Which living or dead artist would you most like to meet?
There are a few Turner, Klimdt, Cezanne, Vierra da Sliva

The Cape Town studio of Karen Wykerd

Tell us about your studio. Location, clean, cluttered, big, small, etc?

I am fortunate that my studio is part of a collective of artists (Untitled Studios )in Gardens CPT. This kind of environment allows fellow artists to share their unique creative processes with one another. The studio is a constant source of inspiration. I prefer to work in a relatively organised and clean space,and tend to tidy up before starting a new painting.


old glass bottles on a window shelf
Art school or self-taught?
I studied Graphic Design  at Johannesburg art college, and worked in the Advertising industry for 14 years. I took a few painting classes thereafter.

Painting inspiration for Karen Wykerd

Do you prefer to work with music or in silence?
I prefer to listen to music when I work - I tend to listen to relaxing and calming music and this is reflected in my works.

Favourite brush?

New flat brushes (varying sizes)

Road Trip series of paintings by Karen Wykerd
 “Road Trip Series “

Where can we find you out side of the studio?
Exploring Cape town the city and the surrounding suburbs, always on the look out for inspiring reference material.

If you couldn't be an artist, what would you do?

That’s a tough one ,it would have to be something creative, a landscape designer, a stylist or a chef.

Interests other than art?
Reading, walking in nature, cooking , music, road trips.



What do you collect?
Old tea sets,sea glass ,shells,buttons.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?
Make art that has significance to you ,don’t be too influenced by your peers, never give up and be consistent. “Action is the fundamental key to all success” Pablo Picasso

Are there messages within your work?
My work deals with aspects of our routine or mundane daily life, I aim to elevate these scenes into that of something worthy of being documented. 

What does your art process entail?

Cityscape painting by Karen Wykerd
 “Misty Morning”

Invariably I am inspired by the subject matter: I will lay loose washes of transparent paint, always mindful of exciting happenings, sketching, and then adding detail into certain areas.

What are your inspirations?

I am constantly inspired by this beautiful city ,mountains, seascapes, the ever changing weather conditions and how light has the ability to elevate the subject matter. Other artists.

A painting by Karen Wykerd
“8.52 am 7/6/2015”

What materials couldn’t you live without?     
Oil paints, canvas, painting medium (stand oil,distilled turps ,Damar varnish)

View Karen's portfolio of available work