Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Karin Zeller

 Soft relaxing music, lush green outdoors, shelves overflowing with books, cluttered table tops full of artists paraphernalia, an elaborate inspiration board and a big central workstation…that is what my senses were feasting on when Karin slowly opened up to me one fine morning at her Studio.  Her work spoke to me the very first time I saw only a bit of it on her Artist’s Card, but what was more interesting to see was how her eyes lit up every time she spoke about her work. There was this little girl full of glee hidden behind her calm, unruffled self and all I wanted to do then, was to one day meet that little girl who spins magic on paper. And that I finally did when Karin let her composed self go and let her real inner self take over.

 She always knew that she would be an artist, she said, and everybody else around her thought the same. She lovingly remembers how her mother always encouraged her to draw and express herself through colours. It was as if she was teaching little Karin how to find a companion within herself when nobody is around, how to build a self-support system with colours if real life is not really bright, how to find an oasis without having to really look for it. And this life lesson helped her all along because her art is her little world of glory where nothing morose or dreary can even come close. 

Karin very humbly recalled how during the initial days in the world of art she found it hard to believe that people would be willing to spend money for her drawings, but over time, and after doing hundreds of portrait commissions she felt confident about calling herself an artist. When she along with her family moved to Australia 20 yrs back Karin used her world of art to overcome the unforeseen loneliness and isolation that gripped her in the land that was foreign and new to her then. Although she was doing quite well in her business of pencil drawn portraits and found it rewarding at various levels she felt the urge to break-free and do something for herself. She wanted her creations to be guided by her sensations and not be confined by the limits of her vocation. This is when she took a step forward and slowly groomed herself to the fabulous artist she is today.
 She enjoys to work with watercolours and also loves to experiment with different techniques, media and styles at the same time. Art to her is almost like a self revelation where she can connect with her inner self. And that inner self undoubtedly is the inquisitive and joyful little girl who loves to play, dream and get lost. Her love of abstract was born about two decades ago, when she very playfully created the first tiger abstract and that marked the beginning of her love story with colours. Painting colourful abstracts of different animals – cats and fishes in particular gradually became her unique style brilliantly reflected in the kaleidoscopic paintings that she creates. “I’ve always loved cats, but never liked painting them until I stumbled upon Laurel Burch’s colourful cats.  Other influences who have inspired my colourful abstract style are Picasso and Paul Klee.”   
Being born in Germany, having spent a big part of her growing years in a farm in Canada with 6 siblings, together with a happy marriage and two wonderful kids, Karin dwells in a paradise that inspires her and nudges her to do more every day. Although there was a point in life when her marriage, kids and her job took precedence, today she is at a stage where she enjoys pursuing what she was destined to. Art as she says has slowly moved up the priority list and takes up most of her time now.  
Karin is an active member of the Hobsons Bay Art Society and enjoys the company of her social painting group. She regularly participates in art workshops and life drawing to improve artistic skills as she believes, “you can learn so many things from each person you meet”.  Karin shares her love for art by teaching water-colour and acrylic classes from her fabulous, fully equipped Studio at her home’s backyard. You can see more of her latest work here . She is also the proud mother of the talented young Jennifer Zeller who is currently busy making a mark in Berlin’s Art Space. A wide grin on her face every time she mentions her name is privy to the passion both mother and daughter lovingly shares.  Karin prefers leading a humble life not tainted by the success that art has brought to her. She rather basks in the happiness it brings along. A good cup of coffee, good music and her ‘space’ to create…that’s all she needs to spend a perfect day!


  1. Really enjoyed your piece on Karin. She is both a fabulous artist and person. Her art is joyous
    Karen Gingell

  2. Thank you Karen Gingell. Karen Z really is amazing!


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