Los Angeles-based Karin Brauns traces her artistic inspiration back to her childhood in Norrköping, Östergötland, Sweden, whose culture is steeped in an appreciation of nature and year-round outdoor activities. She also points to her secondary school teachers for encouraging her to pursue art school after finishing her studies.
However, Brauns took a more experiential and individualized path towards establishing her art career four years ago. At 18, she traveled the world, living for extended periods in Greece, England, New Zealand, and Australia before moving to the U.S. in 2012. To pay the bills as well as master her English, she took up modeling and, later, acting. Although she landed roles in several television shows and films, her boyfriend’s spontaneous reaction to a painting she created for him as a gift three years ago was a transformative moment. Creating art went from a therapeutic hobby to an all-encompassing calling.
In addition to that encouragement, she has drawn upon both her travels and her commitment to conservation for inspiration.
“The beauty of nature has always been a big influence on me,” Brauns says. “It’s where I find peace. My mind wanders freely and stimulates my creative thoughts. Simply put, capturing nature and wildlife makes me feel good. When I create my representations of animals, they are very human and yet have a sense of purity. I also find myself inspired by the way I experienced different cultures in terms of how people in those countries related to animals.”
In just a few short years, Brauns has received commissions from collectors in Canada, Sweden, Australia, and the U.S. as well as numerous invitations to show her collections in galleries across the U.S. and internationally. As she wants to give back to the animals for providing her such inspiration, she also donates specially created canvases for fundraisers and auctions benefiting wildlife animal rescue.
Brauns’ work is international and universal in scope, starting with a subtle and sophisticated palette of color, composition and texture to her acrylic paintings. Finished canvases are rendered using a variety of materials including acrylics, oils, gold leaf, and even glitter. The result is a balance of realistic and dreamy expressions highlighted by golden touch. For example, her recent “Heartbeats” canvas showcases the emotional connection animals share with their mates, and with the world.
“When I paint, time does not exist, and the canvas comes naturally to me,” she says. “However, it is just as wonderful and therapeutic for me to observe how different people are drawn to, interact with, and are uplifted by my pieces. I love watching people react to my paintings and get lost in the moment. Every time I witness this dynamic, it reinforces the fact that creating art and capturing nature is my purpose.”