Dartmoor flower garden inspiration for artist

A Dartmoor flower garden provides the inspiration for artist Karen Burgess who will be opening her studio and garden for Devon Open Studios for the first time this year.

Karen has lovingly created her garden with places to sit and reflect, an art studio, and a vintage caravan decorated with flowers. She has carefully chosen and planted annuals that will be blooming during her open studios event.

Karen returned to watercolours when she had cancer during lockdown. She found a huge comfort in her art and welcomed the challenge of painting again.

Karen said:
“When I was unwell, art was so important for my wellbeing, and I was more creative than I’ve ever been.

Painting flowers, capturing their details and essence and what makes them uniquely beautiful is totally addictive. While I am absorbed in this everything else in the world fades away. Each petal, its colour and shape becomes everything to me. Flowers mean so much to me anyway, but when you are looking close enough to capture them in watercolour and coloured pencil you begin to see the most extraordinary and magical details.

“Flowers are at the heart of everything I do, and I’m so looking forward to sharing my garden and studio with visitors.”

As well as watercolour painting, Karen also makes felt applique bags. She will be making art during Devon Open Studios, and plans to run workshops for people who would like to learn more or try new techniques.

Karen is based in Lydford, on the edge of Dartmoor National Park. During Devon Open Studios, visitors will be able to wander round her artist’s garden, see her watercolours exhibited in her linhay (historic farm building), look around her studio and peek inside her florally decorated vintage Carlight Casalette caravan. Karen is one of more than 300 artists throwing open their doors and inviting people to look behind the scenes for Devon Open Studios. 

Local people and visitors to the county will be able to enjoy a range of free exhibitions, demonstrations, workshops, opportunities to see artists at work, and to celebrate the range of talent across the county.

This year, there are more artists than ever, demonstrating and showcasing their work in attics, sheds, galleries and gardens and other creative spaces, including some of Devon’s most beautiful locations.

Guides are available from community venues, libraries and tourist information offices from early August.