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Hi, I’m Karyn with a y. That’s how I began introducing myself at Art & Soul when I was in classes with Karen with an e. My mother’s name was Kathryn, and she took out the th when she named me. She and my dad had tried for several years to have children and had finally decided to adopt. They had just gotten a call that there were twin baby girls ready for adoption when they discovered that my mom was pregnant. With me. Which means I would have twin older sisters if the timing hadn’t been so close. They turned down the twins. As it turned out, I was the first of four daughters for my parents, who gave each of us a y somewhere in our names.

I’ve always dabbled in some kind of art, focusing on batik when I was first out of college. So coming to Art & Soul has been like returning to a first love. I’ve been attending classes since 2015 and became a member a year or two after that. I spent most of my first three years taking every CADP class offered. I was delighted to get to move and sound and relax with the process of art, trying all the paints and inks and tools with childlike freedom. During the pandemic, I began exploring altered-paper collage and painting portraits, especially of kids. These are my grandchildren who live in Japan. I haven’t seen them in a couple of years, so this is a way of being close to them.



If I’m not painting or papering, I’m writing (I’m an author, editor, and book coach) or reading or taking pictures of flowers and shadows. I rarely watch TV or movies, but when I do, it’s usually a British mystery like Endeavor or Foyle’s War. Right now I’m reading Rilke’s Book of Hours and Beth Kephart’s We are the Words.

I once took a personality test and was told that I’m 70% introvert, which is not surprising, because I feel most alone when I’m in a group, especially in a crowd, and most of the things I enjoy doing are things you do alone. Even my sneezes and laughs tend to be silent. But I’ll laugh out loud at a sign that has unfortunate, unintended mistakes in it. Like the one I saw yesterday in a post. Someone had taken a picture of a sign at a park that read: “Take Only Pictures. Leave Only Footprints. Kill Only Tim.”

Musical Garden

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