Whimsical nature takes flight at Lakeville Art Festival

Featured artist Karri Jamison brings a touch of fantasy to her work

Karri Jamison with her award-winning painting “Butterflies and Wildflowers.” Facebook photo

Those who are familiar with southern Wisconsin’s back roads will understand the kind of place where this year’s Lakeville Art Festival featured artist is from.

Karri Jamison lives in the small town of Hillsboro — a place where it’s easy to fall in love with nature.

Jamison takes the cue from the world around her to infuse life into her multimedia paintings that will be on display during the festival Sept. 16 and 17 at the Lakeville Area Arts Center.

Her work doesn’t reflect nature in realistic terms but rather with a touch of fantasy.

“When I paint, I envision a world of wonder and whimsy,” she says. “A place where anything is possible if you just believe. In my world, nature rules supreme. The color, texture, and irresistible beauty that nature provides are of constant inspiration to me. However, it is never presented in a straightforward fashion, each canvas is it’s own little universe; it’s own world where scale and reality do not exist.”

A professional artist since 2007, Jamison has exhibited her award-winning work at such local venues as the Lakeville Art Festival and the Edina Art Fair along with the Museum of Wisconsin Art.

It’s easy to see why her work has been so widely acclaimed with its attention to detail and her unique perspective.

She says getting started on a work may come after an idea pops into her head, leading her to grabbing a canvas and painting as fast as she can.

Other times, she says color memory and interacting with nature leads to a concept.

She says three rules need to be incorporated into each work, which she to refers to as “whimsical nature.”

There must be a reason for its creation that can lead viewers into different emotional or psychological planes.

She says the composition, technique and interaction among “characters” must give energy or fascination to the work that includes action or something about to happen.

“I work to achieve this with the materials themselves, through the interaction between color, texture, and the layering of paint, graphite, canvas, and paper,” she says.

The work must convey a sense of experimentation, she says.

“I am fascinated by the relationships between colors; how they layer and affect one another. In my paintings, I’m constantly experimenting with materials, color and mark making,” she says.

In addition to working with acrylic paint, Jamison uses graphite, paper, thread, molding paste, gesso or new paint “recipes.”

“Whatever material it is I’m experimenting with, it is through this process that I find my own artistic voice,” she says.

While studying to get her painting degree at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Jamison developed this technique of layering hand-drawn graphite imagery over the top of her acrylic backgrounds.

“When I was younger, I refused to accept the limitations of the world around me,” she said. “I learned at a very early age that anything can exist if you take the time to create it. As an adult, my paintings are a tribute to that thought; when I seek beauty and imagination, it is through the impossibility of it all that I am inspired.”

In addition to her paintings, Jamison is a fiber artist; a private contractor making custom murals, portraits, sculpture and costumes; and makes jewelry under the ThunderSky Jewelry brand.

More about her is on her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/karri.jamison.7.

Contact Tad Johnson at [email protected].