Karen Hewitt Hagan, is living the quintessential life of an accomplished artist. Florence, South Carolina native has taught plein air painting in Charleston, Italy, the Bahamas, and France. Her works are collected nationally as well and are in the permanent collection of fine resorts like The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Though she’s traveled the world, lived aboard a boat (aptly named Plein Air) for over 8 years, she says Charleston continues to be her calm, stable source of inspiration.
“If I were marooned in just one place on earth, I’d want it to be Charleston. It’s nirvana here…funky, very close-knit among the artists. We all collaborate a lot, share models, and paint together. That’s inspiring in itself, but to get to do that in a city that is filled with such stunning light and beauty is way beyond what anyone could hope for.”
You might be surprised to learn that Hagan’s first memory of painting was when the artist was 32 years old—a relatively late age to find and pursue your passion. She describes her paintings as “painterly, loose, and juicy. They’re colorful, and hopefully, full of light. I guess most people call me an impressionistic landscape painter, but I resist putting titles on myself because I always want to explore. While I hold true to traditional drawing and compositional methods, I want to experiment and push the boundaries of painting.”