About

Hello! My name is Karen Johnson and I’m an alcohol ink artist working in Derby. I paint colourful flower pictures and from these I create my Wild Garden Collection of prints & cards.

I adore colour and plants; which is how my Wild Garden flower pieces came to be created using beautifully vibrant and free flowing alcohol inks. I usually paint on Yupo paper, which is a waterproof, tree-free Synthetic Paper. This allows the inks to sit on the surface, rather than being absorbed, which means I can use lots of different techniques to apply and blend, such as dripping, blowing, brushing & splodging! The inks themselves are such bold luscious colours, but can give the effect of watercolour paints in the way they move into each other, creating a soft, dreamy look.

Enjoying time in spent in my own garden inspired me to start painting flowers and tangled greenery. The gorgeous vibrant colours, combined with the fluidity and unpredictable nature, of alcohol inks allow me to recreate my own version of that wild beauty I so love.

My choices are usually based on my own favourite flowers, or flowers & shapes from my garden. Sometimes I like the flower to be fairly accurate and recognisable, at other times I prefer to almost invent a flower and have some fun with it! My paintings are usually a mixture of the two, combined with a strong sky background and wild grassy foreground.

As well as literally blue sky thinking and cloud watching in the summer, I love staring at small details in the garden and can happily sit for hours observing a tiny patch of grass as it moves in the breeze, or comes to life as insects stumble & climb up its length! Each painting is varnished with several coats before being framed to seal & protect from UV light, however I do recommend not displaying them in full sun to keep the colours as strong as possible.

I’m a keen gardener and do spend a lot of time in my garden, especially in the gorgeous summer months! When I’m not heaving plants around I like nothing better than to just sit with my 2 mischievous black & white cats, Jasper & Barney, reading a good book and drinking a strong coffee.

I’ve been a jazz singer since 2005 and regularly perform with my trio at private events under the name of Karen Lake.