Lady Karên Watson F.R.S.A
I was born in Germany and grew up in Frankfurt/Main - I went to the renowned Art Akademie in Düsseldorf (Staatliche Kunstakademie) to study Fine Arts, Lithography and Coldneedle Etching. For a short while I had some work experience with Beate Kuhn, a leading German ceramic artist, to study ceramic sculpture.
I came to England and married Alan Watson, we lived in London and had two sons. Family life gave me little time to continue with my artwork, but I did manage to do some drawings and some painting.
I was made a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in London (FRSA). I travelled with my mother, a designer and entrepreneur to; China, Peking and Sheniang. We created and designed arts and handicraft using duck feathers and straw for the Chinese export market. This project became very successful and a great export for China.
In later years we acquired a house in Somerset, in the village of Nunney. I became interested in gardening and created a very sculptural Topiary Garden which also featured my "ceramic planters", animals and organic shapes for plants. The magazine English Garden featured my garden in December 2008, and the magazine Gardens Illustrated (BBC Magazine) featured my garden in December 2011. In the same year I was invited by the National Garden Scheme to open my garden to the public for charity (The Yellow Book).
Prompted by my interest in gardens I enrolled on several courses at West Dean College (Chichester) to do ‘Pebble Mosaic’ and ‘Mosaic Design’. I met Emma Biggs (today's leading British Mosaic artist) and Sonia King (well known in the USA). Currently I am attending classes in Pottery and Ceramic Sculpture at Frome College with Russel Coats. I have also worked in the studio of the late artist and sculptor Althea Wynne in Upton Lovel. Althea is known for her life-size bronze figures and animals. This experience was of great value to me and has consolidated my style.
I do not make many sketches or drawings when I embark on a project, although I do make small maquettes in clay which help me to work out what I want to achieve. I work intuitively through the images I hold in my mind. ‘I think with my hands’ as one artist once said about me. I am inspired by Fairy Tales, Fables and Mythology and most of all - Animals! Movement and energy is most important to me and I think that shows in my work.
I live in Richmond, London, and in Nunney, Somerset, where I have my workshop.