About The Artist
Karel Renard has always been an observer.
When she was a child, her family moved a lot, relocating to a new house or apartment virtually every year. Six decades later, Renard still vividly remembers each one. “I can describe every single house and room. I can draw the floor plan of my grandmother’s house right now,” she said.
“My memories are very sensory,” said Renard, “but they don’t come with sound, dialogue, script, or story.”
For an artist, not having a narrative direction is actually quite freeing. Renard, who specializes in printmaking, has a remarkable talent for figuring out how to translate the complicated image in her mind’s eye into carvings on wood or linoleum and then into a lush, textural print.
Renard has always been creative—she spent her childhood drawing and writing plays and poetry, and later studied apparel design—but she never thought of herself as an artist until she discovered printmaking two decades ago.
Growing up, Renard was surrounded by paintings and sculpture and music, particularly jazz. Her mother always supplied her with a big block of clay to play with. She remembers being an incredible daydreamer.
As a young adult during the 1960s, Renard made all kinds of art, but she always gave it away, or sometimes even threw it away. “I didn’t think of myself as an artist—it’s just what I did,” she said. “It’s just what people did—we made music and art.”