The Coast News Group
A Brush with Art

Thriving on variety

Encinitas artist Karin Grow thrives on variety.

“Turquoise Sea Urchin”, 16” x 24” acrylic on birch panel from the “Sea Creatures” series by artist Karin Grow. (Courtesy photo)
“Turquoise Sea Urchin”, 16” x 24” acrylic on birch panel from the “Sea Creatures” series by artist Karin Grow. (Courtesy photo)

Constantly stimulated by an exciting assortment of pursuits, she sometimes wonders how she sleeps at night.

As one of 10 siblings, Grow was born in Encinitas and raised in a family strongly influenced by art, music and dance. Crediting most of her art training to her mother and the Art Department of Palomar College, Grow says of her early propensity for art, “I pretty much started as soon as I could hold a paintbrush.”

Grow states, “As a native to Southern California, I can’t help but be inspired by the nature around me… My work is neither dark nor tragic and doesn’t have any subliminal message for the observer to try to figure out. We get enough of that on TV. My hope is that it just makes you happy.”

The feel-good spirit of her work made Grow the perfect choice for a recent permanent 10-piece installation of delightful sea creatures in Children’s Hospital of Orange County.

With a clean stylistic quality and use of brilliant colors, she says, “It’s always fun playing around with interesting color combinations or painting with a soothing monochromatic palette.”

Although Grow enjoys working in a wide variety of mediums, she works most often in acrylics. When painting on wood panels, she allows the natural grain to contribute an additional layer of interest to the finished piece.

Her “Sea Life Preserve” collection, which exemplifies her work on wood panels, portrays sea creatures that appear to be confined within glass containers. Grow says, “This series stresses the importance of ‘preserving’ our natural habitat, so they don’t wind up extinct and only viewed pickled in jars.” The exhibit will be on display at the Pannikin Gallery throughout the month of July.

On Aug. 25, for the fifth consecutive year, her artwork will be on display in front of the Pannikin during the Leucadia ArtWalk.

Grow by no means limits herself to local collectors, but also operates an online shop where customers from all over the globe purchase her artwork. She says of her artistic creations, “It’s hard to let them go because I originally paint them for myself.” She recently completed a licensing agreement with Green Box Art, which manufactures and markets internationally her images on large canvases.

Not only creating her own artwork, Grow also shares her expertise with others through classical drawing and acrylic painting lessons held in her private Encinitas studio. She also teaches craft classes on making “Hypertufa” (concrete planters) at Barrels and Branches Nursery in Encinitas.

Additionally, in her second year as curator of the Pannikin gallery, Grow gives opportunities to other local artists to exhibit their artwork. She says, “We like to support local artists whose work is fresh, current, and has a distinct style. Since the Pannikin attracts all ages, I like to mix it up so there’s something for everyone.” Currently booked through the end of 2015, she continues to seek submissions that would appeal to the Pannikin’s diverse customers.

Grow keeps her life exciting through her continuous pursuit of diversity. She comments, “I like to mix it up and always have about 10 different projects going at all times. By dabbling in so many different mediums, hobbies and occupations, it’s really helped me create some of the crazy ideas floating inside my head.”

When asked what it’s like to be living a life so completely engaged in multiple aspects of creativity, she responds, “I’m just lucky enough to be able to make a living doing what I love most. Definitely, no complaints here.”