Artist Spotlight Series: Karin Olah
I often feel like Charleston has more artists than anywhere else.
My latest Artist Spotlight Series feature hails from the Holy City.
Enjoy getting to know the talented
Charleston, South Carolina
What is your training?
B.F.A Fiber Art from Maryland Institute College of Art
2 years in NYC at a textile design studio – custom dyeing fabric for runway collections and Broadway shows.
What inspires you and your designs?
Walking on the beach, watching sailboats on the Charleston Harbor, paddling in the kayak, waiting for a sunset. And also, visiting art museums, shopping for fabric, and reading interior design magazines/blogs.
What is your favorite piece?
“Sea Wall” – my largest painting at 20 feet wide and 6 feet high. I painted it in 6 panels as a way to fit it in my tiny studio. It hangs in the lobby of Meeting Street Lofts in Charleston.
How has the your area influenced your work?
I’m inspired by places with a wide expanse of water, big sky, or interesting horizon line. Luckily, I can find most of those dreamy places within a few miles of my home on James Island. Most weeks, I am snapping dozens of photos of sailboats on the harbor, high tide on the salt marsh, sandbars and tide pools at the beach. Also, I’m drawing inspiration from my hometown – Lititz, Pennsylvania. It’s farm country there and I really dig the way fabric can be used to show a patchwork of fields.
What is your favorite restaurant in (your city)?
What is your favorite cocktail?
My husband has been making the best Negroni cocktails.
How do you balance personal life and work?
I have no idea. We are a busy family and often my work has to wait… which absolutely kills me. There is nothing I’d rather be doing than working in my studio. And there is no lovely way to balance being a full -time artist and a full-time mom. Somedays, my work day can’t even begin until 8pm when the kids go to bed. So when I am succeeding at work, I feel as though I am disappointing my family and friends. Or when I am missing deadlines, my kids are having the best day of their life.
We planned to go to Italy this summer, but it’s been postponed. I’m still dreaming about exploring Cinque Terra, Tuscany, and the Amalfi Coast.
I’m also dreaming of a golf trip to Cabot Links in Nova Scotia.
It would be a dream to work with Olivia Brock of Torrance Mitchell Designs, Erin Gates, Cortney Bishop Design, Amanda Louise Interiors… just to name a few of my favorite designers.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Charleston Tea Plantation – Carolina Mint Tea
Nutty Goodness – Snappy Ginger is my favorite flavor
(And my Coastal Mini Paintings!)
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Jes Zange, she’s a fiber artist who weaves abstract landscapes in a painterly way with yarn. I totally respect and connect with her labor-intensive process.
What is your most treasured possession?
My engagement ring – it’s a family ring from 1890 with a deep blue oval sapphire. My husband knows I have a thing for color.
What are you reading?
Ninth Street Women by Mary Gabriel,
The Overstory by Richard Powers,
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.
What are you listening to?
Artist/Mother Podcast, ArtBiz Podcast, and tons of pop and dance music. I dance while I paint.
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
Blogs- The Jealous Curator, Look Linger Love, isuwannee, Erin Gates
Magazines – Veranda, Elle Decor, Charleston Magazine, Garden & Gun
Take a look at Karin’s work and be sure to follow her on Instagram and her website.
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