Collection: Clarissa Karling


1. What do you do when you’re not making art? (Day job etc...).

Technical Writer, Writer, bicycle riding, being near the water, watching sunrises and sunsets, watching light interact with trees and landscapes.

2. Why do you make art?

Art makes me feel happy and I can escape into the colors and brush strokes. When I make a painting, it sometimes paints itself. I have a rough idea in mind, but the final brush strokes and images sometimes paint themselves. I feel blessed that a higher power helps with the painting or design, which I believe is what happens when we work with our true gifts. When I make a linocut print, it takes more planning regarding the drawing and carving the image into the linoleum. But the drawing and carving is inspired. And when I ink up the final work and hand print onto the whetted paper, it is like opening a present, seeing how the image appears on the paper. Each linocut print I do is hand made and hand printed and each is unique. Then, I sometimes use additional inspiration to add hand painted finishing touches to the print, to make each print interesting and beautiful. As a small child, I knew that art was my true calling and since there were no advanced art schools for children, my Mom brought home art books on the great masters so I could copy them. Every birthday, I asked my Mom and Dad to take me to the Detroit Institute of Arts. It was like a second home to me and I would spend hours studying the great works!

3. What inspires you?

Nature, people, images I see. Sometimes an idea will just pop into my head or come to me in a dream. And sometimes as I'm creating something, more ideas will come to me for the finished piece. I might be out dancing with friends, and ideas will come to me because of the light show at the club. Once, I was driving past a factory and the factory workers walking past a glistening street amongst the street lights looked beautiful to me. Just some men and women going to work at the night shift. Common workers making a living. Boating and watching boaters is always amazingly beautiful to me and feeling the water interacting with the sky, sun and clouds, and the reflections always inspires me.

4. What/who are your influences?

Van Gogh, Monet, Cassatt, Degas, Renoir, Gaugin, Toulouse-Lautrec, Matisse, The Fauvists, other printmakers and artists, cave paintings, sunlight, and too many people and things to list. I also like the classic nudes by Da Vinci and Michelangelo. I only took a few art classes, so am largely self taught and am always growing and learning and discovering new influences.

5. If you could meet anyone dead or alive who would it be?

Van Gogh, Tesla, because of their genius. Any person is interesting and unique, though, especially creative geniuses

Read our interview with Clarissa Karling in the AllArtWorks Featured Artist Series here.