Karen “WiZ” Smith
Although Karen’s work often has a polished, professional, design-like quality, she has no specific palette nor style. “The theme determines the way I work and the colours I choose”. Karen enjoys the challenge of working to a theme and the result is often dynamic, thought provoking, humorous or dramatic. From abstracts to realism, landscapes to portraits, her paintings have been described as skilful, “quirky” and imaginative. Each piece is unique, designed to make a statement, a social commentary, tell a story or evoke an emotion. Her bold art seizes the viewers’ attention and the finer detail draws them in for closer examination.
From a young age Karen (WiZ, as she became known) excelled at art. She was top of her class on many occasions and won her school’s art prize three years running. With encouragement from her senior art teacher, she followed her artistic dream and went to university to study Industrial Design. After successfully completing her degree Karen worked as a designer for more than a decade. Then later, whilst working as a freelance artist, a cartoonist friend impressed by her small self-portrait, inspired her to rediscover painting.
* Bachelor of Built Environment – Industrial Design
* 2017 Festival of Elegance 1st prize Fine Arts Recognition of Excellence
* RQAS 2nd prize Big Art Miniatures – “My 1st Bowl of Milk”
* 2016 RQAS Overall Winner – “Made to Order” a confronting piece depicting the dehumanising of elite athletes
* RQAS Art Directors Award – “Two Little, Too Late” reflected image of delicate dew drops on wilted leaves
* 2015 Gold Coast Show 1st prize Sculpture – “Top Flight” papermache/wire sculpture of a galah defining his roost from a crow
* 2014 Elanora Uniting Church Art Show 1st prize Acrylics – “Soggy Solidarity” a portrayal of the camaraderie of a frog and snail enjoying a summer shower
* Gold Coast Show 2nd prize Portraiture – “Gordon & Jo” local musician and respected music teacher with his beloved banjo
* 2013 Gold Coast Show 1st prize Open Category – “Smiles & Waves” representation of set theme: Happy Times, Gold Coast Show