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A Colorful Summer

Two new exhibits bring color, variety to area gallery.

For artist Karen K. Ching art is more than a replication; it is about recreating the vision. Ching, a resident of Fairfax Station, presents her impressionistic styled paintings at The Vienna Arts Center this month. Her collection entitled, “Spring into Summer,” features paintings focusing on landscapes, seascapes and gardens. Ching’s paintings are created using watercolor and large contemporary acrylics on canvas.

Ching finds nature especially inspiring.

“I just enjoy painting what I see,” she said. “Once I look at the image I’m interested in, the painting takes on its own life through color and balance.”

Many of Ching’s paintings are of places in Hawaii, Germany and her garden at home. Using blues, purples and browns, she hopes to make people feel relaxed and happy as they look at her artwork.

“These are seasonal things, but you should be able to enjoy that feeling all year, Ching said about her collection. “I love to be surrounded by my ocean paintings, and my flower paintings because that’s who I am.”

Another important goal for Ching is having the viewer feel personally connected to the painting.

“The interesting thing is, with titling paintings, I try to be very generic,” Ching explained. “One of the things I like about impressionism is that it gives you the opportunity as the viewer to take the painting where you now want to take it.”

Evoking positive memories and emotions from her viewers is an exciting part of Ching’s job. “When people are attracted to the pictures, they’re not attracted to my experience with it. They have their own experience that they can relate to.”

Originally from Baltimore, Ching took private art lessons as a child. She later graduated from James Madison University with degrees in Business and Art. Ching now paints full time. Several of her paintings hang in private collections in both the United States and Germany.

Ching is very committed to art in her local community, choosing to participate in the Artist’s Palette Project to raise funds for the Lorton Arts’ Foundation. She has also been a devoted member of the Loft Gallery in Occoquan since 2001, a member of the Springfield Art Guild, the Vienna Arts Society, and the Arts Council of Fairfax County.

Karen is looking forward to traveling to France, where she plans to gain inspiration for her next feature, entitled “The French Countryside” opening in November 2007.

NINI DAKER, ALSO featured this month at The Vienna Arts Center, has a vibrant collection of jewelry on display. Using semi-precious gemstones and freshwater pearls, Daker enjoys creating one of a kind pieces with organic materials. She is inspired first by colors, and then by shapes, using variation to enhance her artwork.

When thinking about what design and colors to use in her jewelry, she follows her creative instincts.

“I have to like it first,” Daker explains. “If I don’t like it I can’t expect somebody else to like it.”

Part of Daker’s creative process is making every piece stand apart from another. “It’s gratifying to me that I can continue to create new and different pieces. There are new stones that are coming out of the ground all the time and that keeps my drive going.”

It was not until five years ago that Daker discovered her passion for jewelry making “I dabbled in interior design for awhile and I think that’s where I found that I really, really love colors and textures,” she says.

Daker was often stopped at work with questions about where she bought her jewelry. Realizing that she had a talent for necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, Nini started selling her pieces.

She values originality above all else, making each piece unique. She hopes in the future she can continue to display and sell her jewelry collections. “I just feel lucky all the way around,” she says about pursuing this passion.