top of page

Karen Lewis: “Inside, Outside, Flipside.” A Blog About What to Paint!

Updated: Jun 6

That catchy phrase in quotes in the title above is the theme for the next OSA show in which I will be participating. I am now waiting for inspiration!

I assure you it will not be in portraiture! I have painted lots of portraits throughout my lifetime, especially in the last couple of years, during which I created a new series of my now grownup grandchildren, called “The Men in my Life.” That's done!


So, what is to be my next theme?

Upon finishing “the Men in my Life” I set about cleaning up leaks and clutter under counters in my studio. I discovered a falling-apart yellow plastic laundry basket under one counter, filled with all kinds of ancient bottles from the early years of raising my children in New Rochelle, NY. This was a time when I was paintings still-lifes in my basement studio. Obviously, the bottles were moved to Ojai, CA along with the rest of my studio and waited in the garage until we built my ArtBarn. Once the barn was up in 1991, we stuck the yellow plastic basket with the bottles under a counter and forgot about them.

Having rediscovered them, I lovingly dusted off all the bottles last month and arranged all 30 of them on a counter and began to paint a still life again!

Inspiration had arrived!

Habanero Rip

Oil on Canvas

60" x 48"

Habanero Rip (Redux)

Oil on Canvas

60" x 40"


Back in New Rochelle in my basement studio in the 70s, I painted most of those bottles and showed them in the PINDAR Gallery on Green St. in SOHO.

I named this first painting Habanero Rip.

It ended up in my son’s NY’s apartment until he moved to Ojai.

Last month, as I began painting the second “Habanero Rip (redux)",

Mark went to his Ojai storage unit and brought his Habanero Rip

to hang in my ArtBarn. The two of them now hang side by side!

Come see them both in my barn on the OSA October tour!


One problem left: The theme of the Museum’s show, though, is “Inside, Outside, Flipside,” my newest “Habenero” is 60” wide which exceeds the Museum’s 36” width allowance! BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD.

16 views0 comments


bottom of page