Karen Libecap

I’ve been doing Tiny Paintings since 2014 but art has always been a big part of my life. I came from a family of artists. My mother was an oil painter/sculptor and always encouraged me to pursue my passion. When I was little, my grandfather owned a print shop. My Dad worked there in the evenings after his day job. He would often let me go with him. The print shop was the kind where typesetting was done by hand. Each character or symbol was a small piece of metal called a “sort” or “type” which was combined with other types made up the form, from which the page was printed. As you can imagine, these pieces were really small! My job was to file the type pieces away, partly because I was the only one who could see them well and partly because I was just a girl. That started my affinity for small things. I would collect left over scraps of paper and write stories and draw pictures on them and file them away in a little shoe box. I loved playing with my little collection of art. I attended Kent State University for graphic design. Illustration was my first choice but was not able to get into the program. I was told that my art was not good enough to continue in that direction. I stopped painting and concentrated on my new career as an art director/graphic designer. I worked for various agencies in major cities including Washington DC, Chicago, Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio. I didn’t paint for several decades and only started back into fine art about 6 years ago. I began with “normal” sized subjects, but found I had trouble finishing them because I would lose interest after a while. Going back to my roots, I decided to return to dealing in tiny sizes again. It was the right move for me because I was able to try so many different things which kept my interest, plus I could actually finish a Tiny Painting in a day. I am able to explore a wide range of subject matter while maintaining the consistency of size. Each painting is no larger than 1.25” x 1.25”. I use watercolor and Gouache for most of my paintings but have experimented with oils, pen and ink, and pencil as well. I do not use a magnifying glass, but I do have to use reading glasses. I am continually working to refine my art and explore other options within the miniature space. 

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Birmingham, AL