Karen Jane Charlton



I am an illustrator and painter, living and working on the Mornington Peninsula, about an hour from the city of Melbourne, Australia.

Although I use a variety of mediums, drawing is at the centre of my art practice. Whether it’s digital or gouache, acrylic paint or collage, every artwork begins its life as a drawing, and then grows from there. Drawing is the tool I use to find the bones of a piece and begin to find its form.

Most people meet me and think I am quiet. For a quiet person, I make some pretty loud art. I use line and colour predominantly, tending toward a contemporary, graphic style.

I draw inspiration from books, art and music. I am highly observant and endlessly curious. When working on a particular topic, I tend to go deep rather than broad. I need to know the what, where, when, how and why, and then I want to draw its essence. My favourite books as a child were encyclopaedias, because they contained entire worlds inside them.

I am drawn towards the unconventional, the diverse, and the universal: I’m forever wanting to know what it might feel to walk in someone else’s shoes. I love travel, the natural world and the ever expanding horizon.

I work from an attic studio in a weatherboard house by the bay that I share with my partner and our three sons: Louis (13), Hamish (11) and Ruben (9).

I try every day to be a better person in the world.