Karen Bartlette

June 1 - 24.

Previously a life time prairie gal from Winnipeg I moved to Vancouver Island after I retired from teaching and I became very involved in the well established artist community that exists there. While my interest in the creative process began many years before my retirement I didn’t have much opportunity to devote time or attention to explore where my interests might lead me. Any opportunity I did have usually involved me taking my camera with me into Nature looking for special photos to take. I found photography a wonderfully relaxing medium.

After retiring and moving to Vancouver Island I decided to frame some of my photos to hang in my new home and as luck would have it I had just picked them up from the framing shop and they were in the back seat of my car.  On my way home I decided to stop in at Imagine That! which is an artists’ co-op in Duncan, BC about which I had heard so many good things.  As I was wandering through the store the artist who was working there that day and I struck up a conversation. I asked her to tell me a bit about the history of the co-op as well as to show me her own work. She asked me if I was an artist too and sadly I said, “No ... but I would like to be.”  She inquired if I did anything creative so I told her about my interest in photography and offered to show her the framed prints that were in my car. After looking at them she said that she thought they would sell well in the co-op and asked if I could make some companion photo cards to go with them to sell as well. Thus began my 10 year association with Imagine That!  As time went by I started creating cards without photos, taught myself how to make jewelry as well as several other crafts too and found myself selling my wares through other artist co-ops, retail stores, small galleries and street fairs on Vancouver Island, Calgary and Winnipeg. Eventually a friend of mine and I opened our own gallery on Vancouver Island and for 3 years we represented over 100 emerging and established BC artists and artisans helping them gain both local and international exposure.

Since life is a journey rather than a destination I now find myself living in Invermere, BC so that I can be closer to my daughters and my 3 grandchildren who all live in Calgary.  I now have the best of both worlds.  I have the energy that I can draw from Nature and the joy that I can draw from my family.