Karen Hewitt Hagan is living the life of an accomplished artist. The Florence, South Carolina, native has taught plein air painting in Charleston, Italy, the Bahamas, and France. Currently she teaches privately in her Charleston studios. Her works are collected nationally as well and are in the permanent collection of resorts such as The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Though she’s traveled the world, lived aboard a boat (aptly named Plein Air) for more than eight years, she says Charleston continues to be her calm, stable source of inspiration.
“If I were marooned in just one place on earth, I’d want it to be Charleston. It’s nirvana here…funky, very close knit among the artists. We all collaborate a lot, share models and paint together. That’s inspiring in itself, but to get to do that in a city that is filled with such stunning light and beauty is way beyond what anyone could hope for.”
“With years of study of the masters, teaching and painting I describe my paintings as painterly, loose, and juicy. They’re colorful, and hopefully, full of light. I guess most people call me an impressionistic landscape painter, but I resist putting titles on myself because I always want to explore. And while I hold true to traditional drawing and composition methods, I want to experiment and push the boundaries of painting.”