Creatif Spotlight: Karen Burns of Vintage Findings

Artfully Created by Karen Burns


Karen Burns of Vintage Findings

Karen Burns is a photographer/altered artist who I follow on Flickr.  I commented on a new photo she posted recently and visited her gallery.  Her beautiful, scenic photos drew me in along with her inspiring altered art layouts designed with Photoshop.  Thoughtful and vintage in style, and as she mentions, she "really wants to tell a story!"  

. . .  And that she does  . . .

Here's the story behind her submission of January's Template for 20TWELVE Photos + Phrases,
entitled "THE VIOLINIST".  

. . .  Visit her Blog and leave her some love . . .

Such is the draw for us to altered art.  The story behind the images.  Some candid.  Some symbolic.  Some trite.  Some humorous.  Some passionate.  Some elegant.  I enjoy seeing what each artist finds funny, interesting, or time telling.  The image makes you feel as if you learn something from or about the artist.  Quite often, I find that it is an outpouring of one's soul, creatively, figuratively and more often than not, spiritually.

Interestingly, Karen's collection piece she feels depicts herself best as an artist was the one that drew me in the most - "Lucky No. 7" {shown below}.  My eyes studied it with great interest.  I love the fonts, colors and vintage mug shot which makes me smile, along with her sassy little comment you'll read below!  The mood is set by her antiquing, blending modes, layer styles, vintage ephemera and color selections which transport me to a quieter time with less issues than those we face today.

. . . ART the great escape . . .

Karen's Brief Bio & Expose.  ;)

I'm a modern girl with a vintage soul.  A mixed media artist, originally from Michigan, living in Northern California.

When did you realize that you had a panache for photography?

When I started a blog!   I needed some good images for the web :-)     

What motivates you as a photographer to capture images?

The light, the shadows.  They motivate me.  I am also highly motivated by vintage elements and vintage images.     

Which photographer are you most drawn to and why?  

Tom Weisimel.  He was one of my first contact on Flickr and his work is beyond amazing.  Also, Marie Otero.  I have taken several digital on-line classes from her.  They are THE BEST if you want to hone your digital skills.     

Where and what subjects do you enjoy photographing most? 

In my own backyard, I love nature. I love capturing what is around me. I'm a country girl, so all things nature and natural appeal to me.  I love macro photography.     

What is your favorite tool and tip for using Photoshop when editing your photographs?  

Wow, tough one.  Favorite tool, I would say is to have a to have a good background in all the basics from classes.  My tip?  Take classes with artists that you admire.  Ask questions of them, pick their brains.      

When did you become an altered artist?  

I began as a textile artist evolving to PhotoShop, which has captured my attention, my drive, my passion.     

What do you love most about Photoshop?  

Oh, the more I learn, the more I need to know!  I love the fact that there is always something new to learn.  It never gets old.  There are always new techniques, new ways of getting the desired results, and new things to learn.     

What area of your life has been most inspired by your digital art?  

My soul.  Seriously, it feeds my soul.  Not everyone will understand that, but that's ok.     

Do current color trends affect your decisions when designing altered art?  

Nope.  I tend to go with what I love, with what I see, with what I want as a result.  I have no idea what current color trends are.     

What one photograph and altered art project do you feel best defines you in each area and why you feel that way.

Photograph: This digital collage that best describes how I like to work.  I seek out vintage images that tell a story.  I really want to tell a story!  I collect elements, saving them, where they are ready to pull out and use when needed.  I scan everything!  

Karen Noted on Her Layout:  "Lucky number seven, but most likely unlucky number seven for poor John Cavanauagh (just noticed that he was arrested in Chicago).  I love these Bad Boy mug shots, this one from my collection.  Card states that he is 27 years old, 174 lbs., chestnut hair, medium build, and he has all his own teeth!  Snappy dresser, what's not to love?".     :)

Altered art project:  Made in Clarissa Callesen's class at ArtFest last year.  Great techniques!  I love my doll.  Her name is Favia and she is my muse in my studio.

Thank you for participating in the 20TWELVE Photos + Phrases Workshop, Karen!  And for creating such a dreamy layout to share with everyone!  I love Favia too!



  1. Thank you so much for this opportunity to play with new elements. Here's to a great "20twelve" :-)


  2. Great interview Karen and lovely eyecandy to accompany the post.

  3. @Lost Aussie Thank you, girl! Karen has a lot of talent. Love her photography and altered art projects! Visit soon and join in if you'd like!


Hi there! Thank you for visiting and commenting!