First Friday Art Walk Feb 4th 2022

About the Artist, Karen Anable-Nichols

A product of a rural San Fernando Valley, when it was surrounded by citrus groves, olive and walnut orchards, livestock and vegetable gardens – this is the world that Karen knew before the days of freeways and urban sprawl around Los Angeles. It was that childhood environment and the self-sufficiency of her family when it came to food production for the table that has given her an enduring affection for the land. It was that free-spirited lifestyle of her childhood that drew her to Northern California upon retiring from a career as a secondary art educator. With a B.A. Degree in Art from California State University, Northridge and a secondary teaching credential in art, she worked first as a free-lance illustrator garnering contracts with Disney, Six-Flags Magic Mountain, MGM, the San Diego Zoo and several restaurants in the greater Los Angeles. She worked on contract with the L.A. Community College District as a graphic designer until her 3 children were all in school. She then gave 21 years to the students of the Los Angeles Unified School District, teaching Drawing, Painting, Design, Art History and Advanced Placement Studio Art. As an art educator she worked with Glencoe-McGraw Hill (publishers of secondary art textbooks) to develop, test and record results of art lessons. Samples of her students’ work appear in several editions of Art Talk and Art in Focus. These textbooks are still being used in classrooms throughout the United States. Upon retirement from LAUSD in 2008, Karen became the director of the first art gallery ever to be established in her hometown. La Galeria Gitana grew in acclaim and still has artists throughout the state and beyond competing for exhibition space there. Upon her husband’s retirement in 2015, the decision was made to move to Northern California where they could re-invent themselves allowing Karen to finally become a full-time artist. Now as a resident of Sacramento County, she is experiencing a more laid-back lifestyle with folks who share similar values. She and her husband enjoy trips to the Sierras and local wine country, walks along the American River and strolls through their village (Fair Oaks) – all of which have helped to bring her full circle, back to a place that had been lost to her since childhood. Karen’s subject matter is drawn from personal exposure to her environment en plein air as well as from photo references when traveling. Her background in design and illustration allows her to also lean heavily on memories and imagination. Primarily executed in oil or acrylic, her work can be seen at various galleries and museums in California and Nevada. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Greater Sacramento Sierra Chapter of the California Art Club. She is an Associate Artist with Distinction with American Women Artists. She gives credit to artists with whom she has studied throughout her lifetime: Joyce Pike, Jeanne Down, Lee Musgrave, Barbara Kerwin, Marvin Harden, Vadim Zanginian, Aaron Westerberg, Susan Sarback and Terry Miura.

You can see her work at Blue Wing Gallery, 405 Main Street, Woodland