The Accidental Author

31 March, 2013 4 comments Leave a comment

I wrote this article for the local newspapers recently and thought you might find it interesting.


Artist, painting instructor and author Karen Richardson is happiest when working on a new watercolour and never intended to teach art classes. That happened by a fluke. And she never meant to write a book either, but she did.

Karen had been painting professionally for two decades when a gallery in Whitby asked her to fill in for an art instructor who had to back out. Karen agreed, and taught the perspective drawing and watercolour course. Not only did she find great fulfillment in helping aspiring artists; she also revealed a knack for explaining painting techniques in an easy-to-follow format.

Since then, she has taught hundreds of adult students in galleries in Port Perry, Lindsay, and Peterborough, and at workshops in her Port Perry studio. During these classes, Karen noticed a pattern: almost all students had difficulty with the same issues – such as choosing the right paper, mixing richer colours, controlling the behaviour of paint, and staying motivated when a painting wasn't cooperating.

She found herself explaining over and over how to avoid challenges like these, and how to fix problems when they did occur. A few years ago, she joked to her students "I sound like a broken record - I should write a book!" And her students heartily agreed.

Finally, last fall, Karen started to record all the nuggets of watercolour wisdom she could recall. Two months later, she had a finished manuscript titled 'Watercolour Toolbox', illustrated with 70 photos of her realistic paintings of stones, flowers, landscapes and buildings. She hired a publisher in BC to produce the full colour book, which is due off the presses early this summer.

Subscribe to Karen's Newsletter if you wish to receive studio news updates or notice of upcoming painting classes.

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  1. Karen April 23, 2013

    Thank you so much George. This winter just flew by but it was fun.

  2. George Marlow April 22, 2013

    Your website is beautiful. It must have taken you a long time to set it up. Congratulations on having your book finished.

  3. Karen April 11, 2013

    How can I forget? Welcome to my new web site Richard.

  4. Richard Gauder April 11, 2013

    Remember we want to buy a signed copy of your book when it comes out.