Where to find my work
About me

About Me
Kari Kruempel
Book Artist
Soft Pastel Drawings and Watercolor Sketches

Clear Lake Art Sail   Eagan Art Festival 2011

Beginnings, Including Writing Fiction
My art has grown out of a childhood of doodling, scrap booking before scrap booking was commercialized, making instead of buying presents, journaling, and daydreaming.  It was sidetracked at first by regimen and purported constructive criticism and later by the society-sanctioned practicalities of raising a family and developing a mind-numbing career.  Nevertheless I doggedly pursued the art of the written word during this time writing short stories and two novels.  Under the pseudonym Katherine Snow I published some of the stories in Minnesota Monthly, Architrave, A Woman's Place, and Gypsy Cab.  I have also won local (Minnesota) awards for my writing:  second place in Minnesota Monthly's first Tamarack competition (short story), second place in the second annual White Bear Arts Council Literary Competition (short story), and Whittier Writers' Workshop greeting card contest (poetry).  I am currently looking for a small press publisher for my novel Through a Mirror Dimly and considering self publishing using my own handmade covers.  (This will doubtless be a very limited edition.)
Journaling to Journals
As my children left home and founded lives of their own I also began doing book art.  This interest arose simply from a need for more journals for myself; I had run through my favorites from bookstores and Target.  I began by decorating the outsides of notebooks with things I couldn't quite throw away—the deed to my first car, notes from friends, scraps of ribbon and lace.  I progressed to gutting discarded books with titles that struck me—The Ruined City, Death's Old Sweet Song, Needful Things—filling them with blank pages, and embellishing the covers.  Sometimes I cut away parts of the cover or sections of pages making a "hole" in the journal.  Then I could glue in a 3-dimensional item or a picture that I wanted to see for several pages while I wrote.  Eventually I made books also out of other recycled materials such as upholstery and wallpaper samples, handkerchiefs, diskettes, CDs, old photographs, and birch bark.
And Other Visual Arts
While I was gathering my courage to risk an early retirement from my regularly paying career, I began taking visual art classes in drawing and watercolor.  And I now enjoy soft pastel drawing and watercolor sketching in addition to making journals and artist's books.  I have begun adding visual elements to my journaling, which I find just the thing to express some moods and occasions.

Venues and Products
In 2007 I decided to share my work more broadly and to offer some of it for sale.  I began with journals at the Chickadee Boutique in Shoreview and have since sold at several boutiques and art fairs in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.  Near the end of 2008 I began offering framed soft pastel drawings and watercolor sketches, expanding these to cards in 2009 many of which include my own poetic phrases.  In 2011 I introduced essential journals, scaled down hardcover journals, which I am able to offer at a lower price point, and journals made from game boards.

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