Welcome! I'm so happy you're here.
My name is Kari and I live in the Bay Area of Northern California with my husband, daughter and two zen master felines, named Huey and Mystery (aka Pretty Boys).
I am a mixed media artist and musician (specifically, I am a classically trained clarinetist). I hold a B.S. in music education and spent the first few years after college teaching music in the public school system and clarinet, flute and saxophone lessons at my home studio. After getting married and relocating to Southern California from the Pacific Northwest, I experienced a crossroads along with culture shock. I began re-thinking my career goals and fell into managing database systems for arts and education organizations and also started teaching scrapbooking classes. Most of my students were in the "I'm not creative" category. I heard just as many "I hate my handwriting" as I had previously heard, "I can't sing". It became my mission to help my students accept themselves and discover their own unique creativity and self-expression. It was the most rewarding job I've every had.
After losing my mom in a head-on car collision when I was eighteen, music, meditation and journaling brought comfort to my heart and acted as a compass as I was just beginning to navigate my life. Through the succeeding years when I encountered loneliness, moving to another state where I did not know a soul, a high risk pregnancy, and after my daughter became very ill, it has been art, specifically painting and photography that I turn to. I still journal. In addition, I practice yoga and meditation. I also practice noticing the simple, little things, the beauty that is around me at any given moment. As I began to practice this, I realized that every moment has a special grace in it no matter what else is happening. If we can notice it and embrace that moment, we encounter our gratitude and peace. I call this practice, Embracing Grace.
I believe in the power of the arts to save, heal and bring a source of comfort and peace. I also believe that everyone, everyone is an artist at some level. We are all born with creativity at our core and we all have a need to express it in some way. Self-expression and creativity are our rights, not for the privileged few. I also believe that everyone has a story to tell and it is in telling our stories that we not only find our voice, our self-expression but also our connection to our communities and to the world itself. We truly are interconnected.
If this lights a spark in your heart or you have doubts about any of this, I invite you to come along with me on this journey.
Let explore, experiment and discover together!