We had the good fortune of connecting with Kari Hogden and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kari, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I guess I took a risk when I decided to study become a professional artist rather than the safer option of being an art teacher. Once I took the plunge I had work hard and practice, practice practice to become a competent artist. Many times that meant giving something else up in order to have the time to paint. I stay diverse. That means I rarely say no to a commision. I have painted many portraits of both people and pets,murals,childhood landscapes and giant abstract paintings- all with the goal of pleasing the collector.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My inspiration comes from nature. Many times my process begins by heading out for a hike with a huge backpack filled with paints,brushes,canvas and tripod easel. When I find what I might want to paint I study it from all angles and decide what I want to say about it. Then the painting of a study begins. I have about 2.5 hours before the light changes so there is no time to waste. I focus. I get lost in it. The sights, smells and sounds all become part of the painting. I love the physicality of putting the paint on the canvas and I use lots it! My recent show called “Saguaros I Have Met” relates to my personal exploration of the desert -particularly the saguaro and its many inhabitants. They look kind of human,don’t they?

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would tell them to bring their hiking books and sun hat. The first day I would take them out into the bright Arizona sunshine for a short hike to the Verde River-to a secret spot where the wild horses often hang out. We would take lots of pictures and pretend we are horse whisperers. Then we’d have a cocktail on our patio and watch the Gambel’s quail and other birds while the sun goes down on Four Peaks and the Matazal Mountains. Near Cave Creek we would hike among the giant boulders, eat a fine dinner at the Indigo Crow afterward and then we would listen to country music and dance the Arizona Two Step at Buffalo Chip Saloon. We would be sure to visit the Desert Botanical Gardens. I would also let them loose in my studio to try some of the many supplies I have there. Maybe they would bring home a small oil painting,an alcohol ink trivet, or a watercolor sketch to remember their trip to Arizona. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I am lucky to have studied early on with David Leffel and Harvey Dinnerstein at the Art Students League of New York-both world class oil painters. But more important to my development are some contemporary painters who I have painted with in week long workshops; like Kevin MacPherson,Kenn Backhaus and Rose Frantzen. Every day paintings posted on instagram and facebook are a source of inspiration. They create a platform for community within an otherwise lonely profession. John Singer Sargent is my all time favorite artist!

Website: www.KariHogden.com
Instagram: karihogden
Facebook: Kari Markwardt Hogden

Image Credits
Heidi Hogden, Kari Hogden

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutArizona is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.