Karen Richards’ art exhibit, “Bring Nature Home,” is a reflection of her passion for preserving natural resources and protecting the ecosystem. She will donate 30% of the sales of her artwork  to the Hilton Head Audubon Society and the South Coast Region of the Coastal Conservation League.

Richards’ show will feature a collection of florals, birds and local landscapes from April 3 through May 1 at The Society of Bluffton Artists Gallery, located at 6 Church Street in Old Town Bluffton. Meet the artist during an opening reception from 5-7 p.m. April 6. These events are free and open to the public.

“As much a plant nerd as a painter, I’m either getting my hands soiled in the garden or covered in paint in my studio,” Richards said. “My preferred medium is acrylics. I am fascinated by the way colors blend and layer to create depth and energy in a painting. My style varies depending on my mood and the feeling I want to express for the subject.”

The works of art in “Bring Nature Home” range from small 6-inch by 6-inch to large paintings of florals, coastal scenes and shore birds.

While Richards preferred medium is acrylics, she has always enjoyed drawing and painting. She received her first set of oil paints for her seventh birthday. Originally from Long Island, New York, Richards has always appreciated the beauty of coastal marshes and beaches.

She holds a degree in Horticulture, eventually designing and maintaining gardens in Southampton, NY.  Richards earned a degree in Fine Art at Long Island University and a Masters of Education at Stony Brook University. Art history classes introduced her to artists whose paintings continue to inspire, including Claude Monet, Edward Manet, and Odilon Redon.

“A few years ago I was fortunate to spend an entire week in a cottage 1/2 a mile from Monet’s home in Giverny with an artist friend,” Richards said. “We were even able to paint on the grounds of his home in the gardens and by the lily pond after museum hours! I’ve been painting flowers ever since.”

After relocating to Orange County, NY, Richards started selling her artwork and began an art teaching career. Within a few years her work could be found in private and corporate collections including her largest work — a three panel, 15’ x 4’ painting at Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty in Warwick, NY.

While living in the Hudson Valley, Richards continued her studies at the Art Students League in NYC and in summer classes at the Cape Cod School of Art — which enabled her to study with notable artists including Yoshi Higa, Max Ginsburgh, and Hilda Neely.

Richards moved to Bluffton, SC in 2021 where she resides with Jim, the love of her life and one of her greatest supporters in her creative endeavors. Her current focus is on creating and selling collections of her work and donating to local environmentally conscious groups.

 About The Society of Bluffton Artists:

SOBA is the heart of the flourishing art hub in Old Town Bluffton’s historic district at the corner of Church and Calhoun streets. As a non-profit art organization, SOBA offers regular art classes, featured artist shows, exhibitions, scholarships, outreach programs and more. The gallery is open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sundays. Please visit www.sobagallery.com for a complete calendar of events and other information or call 843-757-6586.