Today I am an alive, aware, thriving visual artist, writer and cultural creative. I live in a house in the Berkshire hills, and sell my work out of a little gallery on my property.

I am a watercolor painter, a photographer and designer of home goods and garments which I sell online. I also write poetry, songs and environmental articles. My days are filled with creative pursuits and I have a variety of income streams.

 

But it wasn’t inevitable that I became in artist. I was what is now referred to as a “highly sensitive person” (HSP).I grew up in a suburban town,  with little exposure to visual stimulation. My parents were hard-workers but had little attention for the little artist in their midst. I was given plenty of tennis lessons, but hardly any art classes. And my little artist inside was starving and hurting.

 

Although I did pick art history as my major (at least I could look at art if not make it myself) the school did not have a great studio art department at the time. After college I studied photography for awhile, but it wasn’t until I had had a complete breakdown of my physical and emotional and energetic system (ten years after graduating) and finally moved to the Berkshires that I made the decision to pursue art as a career.

 

There I met an art teacher, Rosalind Gordon who had studied with Elaine DeKooning and other notable Abstract Expressionists, who first helped me see the damage my inner criticism patterns were doing to me, and pointed me in the direction of creating a healthy, steady art habit. From that year on, I took many art classes and workshops and designed my own "mfa" over many years.

 I began exhibiting my work locally, regionally, nationally and even internationally. I was given a permanent exhibit of a series of contemplative photographs in a major hospital chapel; I was in a group show at the American embassy in Taiwan along with a Yale professor, and my work has been purchased by major galleries, corporations and hotels.

 

Meanwhile, on another track, I was also trying to heal and empower myself by studying various modalities. I grew up feeling very disempowered, with a lot of shame and inner criticism. I wanted to know how to protect myself with kindess and manage my relationships better. I traveled through the worlds of Co-Counseling, Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Mediation, Focusing, Heartmath and Internal Family Systems (IFS). I became certified in many of these methodologies, and was able to overcome much of my early programming--  fear, procrastination, and self-sabotaging patterns.

I am in process – probably a lifelong journey – and with that I bring to my life and that of my clients an acute sensitivity and an ability to investigate what’s really going on. I blend these powerful methods to help people make profound but gentle inner changes.

​© 2017 Karen Andrews Coaching

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