Kara Lockmiller is #MadeForKnoxville.
When Kara listens to music, a magnificent light show dances in her mind. As a chromesthete, she has an entirely unique and colorful insight into music and musicians. So, she took her lifelong love of painting and began translating her mind’s creations for others.
Kara’s portraits of musicians allow her to convey what words cannot: the messages amidst the mingling of music and color. With her art, she hopes to offer others a glimpse into those wonderfully vibrant interpretations in her mind.
“I began painting for others in 2017 as an outlet to share all the mesmerizing colors I see. While I can remember the lyrics to almost any song I’ve ever heard, I am most fascinated by the people who pen them.”
In Their Own Words..
Born and raised in Knoxville, TN I am a portrait artist who specializes in musicians. Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember and I’ve been drawing and/or painting all my life. Nothing comes more natural than making your passions your business. I love my job and everything about it.
I am a mother of three – two boys and a bonus daughter. I’m also married to one of the Knoxville Police Department’s finest. It is his belief in me that allowed me to originally devote so much time to my craft.
I am a chromesthete which means I see a vast array of real colors in my mind when I listen to music. I like to think of it as my own personal light show. My goal for each portrait is to let you glimpse music and musicians the way I do. There is a kinship between color and music – both can say what words can not.
I paint in shadowed hues using the grisaille technique. After sketching out my musician in a grayscale underpainting, I add opaque and translucent acrylic colors according to what I see when I listen to their music. They come together like puzzle pieces on my canvas. I DO NOT use editing software or trace my portraits. They are hand drawn according to their highlights and shadows.
I began painting for others in 2017 as an outlet to share all the mesmerizing colors I see. While I can remember the lyrics to almost any song I’ve ever heard, I am most fascinated by the people who pen them.
My 10+ years as a journalist and graphic artist left me with a great understanding of design principles as they relate to color.
I think Wassily Kandinsky said it best: “Lend your ears to music, open your eyes to painting and … stop thinking. Just ask yourself whether the work has enabled you to walk about into a hitherto unknown world. If the answer is yes, what more do you want?”
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