Growing up on a ranch in north central Montana sparked my interest in animals. I was the kid who was always bringing home all sorts of critters - from new kittens I'd find in the barn, to dogs, to horses and wanting to bring the baby calves inside the house. I always had a pack of dogs following me around as I set off on my various adventures.
My animal companions are often reflected in my art. In school, I was constantly sketching and drawing instead of taking notes. Dogs were my primary focus early on, and I eventually added horses into the mix. I love the smiles that my pet portraits bring to the faces of my clients.
I graduated college with a degree in graphic design. Throughout my college years, I became more involved with the ranch, and even established a little herd of my own cows. I loved the inspiration the ranch life brought me, but I disliked how little time I had for art and creating. My art seemed to always be on the "back burner." At the end of 2018, I sold all of my cattle, and decided to make the leap and focus on art as a career.
I specialize in realism acrylic paintings, ink stipplings (pointillism) and pencil sketches. The themes vary slightly, but are usually inspired by the West or from different cultures and scenery I have encountered throughout my travel around the world.
The Western theme probably comes from growing up on a ranch and being surrounded by farm animals. The same could be said about the wildlife and pet portraits. I have always been surrounded by animals of all kinds, and everywhere I go, you can bet I'll have a camera to take reference photos. I love being able to challenge myself by painting as many different animals and landscapes as I can find.
I started falling in love with travel not very long after graduating High School. Over the years, I've made multiple trips to Australia, Africa and Europe. I'm inspired by the various scenery, landscapes, people and animals.
In 2011, I was able to be involved with a study abroad program with my University and was given the opportunity to study in Galway, Ireland for a semester. I fell in love with the beautiful, lush green landscapes, the language, the people, and the culture. I still go back as often as I can, since I have family and good friends there now as well.
One thing that can be said no matter where I travel, I ALWAYS have a camera of some sort to take reference pictures for future art pieces (even if it's just my phone). Sometimes I find myself having to stop every 10 feet to take a picture of something I find fascinating... I'm not even exaggerating. Ask my husband. He would say the same. We went on a 5 minute hike to a waterfall once, but it took us over an hour because I kept stopping to take pictures.
My favorite part about being an artist is that you can go anywhere you want with just the stroke of a paint brush, pen or pencil. The possibilities are endless, and the sky is literally the limit. Being able to capture personalities of pets, special moments and memories, and telling an amazing story through a wordless picture has inspired me to continue challenging myself to become a better artist. One thing I have always found to be true...
Live Life, Enjoy the Ride
Karlie (Kafka) Butler