Karin Merx | My Story Told

I am Karin Merx, an artist based in London UK   

I help womxn/women reconnect with their authenticity by painting portraits as a story & create a typographical portrait (biographical) Art Book of your story

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My path from musician to visual artist

Art has always been my life it is what I breathe; art is who I am. I started as a classically trained musician (trained at the former Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam) and simultaneously had this profound passion for visual art. In music they called me the storyteller, in portraits, I found the stories.

Especially portraits had my attention. It was not so much the technique, but how they were telling me a story. Portraits are the landscapes of life. When I paint or draw portraits I have a conversation with them, they talk to me. I use my intuition, listen and follow it.

Besides visual art, typography also has my passion. Before the computer became the tool to go to, I experimented with typography by drawing, cutting and pasting words in a specific form. This same technique is what I have picked up again to illustrate the stories of customers.

Why I Paint Portraits As A Story

It was January 2018 and one of the coldest winters I remembered.
I had hit rock bottom.
No home
No money
And the loss of the love of my life
My soulmate
She broke our relationship and I had no clue why
I did everything possible
I constantly adjusted
I gave myself completely
I struggled but …..I still took care

Bam, broken in a matter of seconds……and I really felt broken to the core.

I was lost, felt deep grief and had no idea where to start to pick up the shattered pieces of my heart. 
Who had I become? 
Why did it go this way? 
What should I do?

It was freezing and the wind blew icing Siberian cold over the Netherlands. I walked through the park, wrapped in my warm coat and scarf, and the only thing I could think was
how do I pick up my life again,
how to start all over …..again.
What have I done so terribly wrong?

Back in my room, the first thing I opened was a box with my art tools and sketchbooks. “You are an artist,” was my first thought, “and that’s what has always helped you throughout your whole life.”

I realised, if anything, I needed to stand up and take my power back. I went through a process to find my Why. During that process, I picked up a sheet of watercolour paper and started to sketch my portrait. 

I looked at myself, very thorough.
I looked deep within my eyes and noticed the scars.
I started to draw and with every line,
every brushstroke,
I felt the pain,
I felt the loss, and ….
I felt my self-esteem was at the lowest point it had ever been. After I finished the portrait I put it aside.

The next day I picked it up and looked at it. Then something happened. That was me, I had actually for the first time ever painted my own portrait.
Yes, I had done that before, but always in a distorted way,
always with this idea that that was the artistic expression of myself.

What it actually was,
was not acknowledging myself for who I truly am,
not feeling good enough,
not worthy enough and
not deserving enough to create a painting of my face worth looking at.

I broke down in tears, and I understood that I had never been able to be who I really am, I couldn’t be who I truly am if I kept putting myself second, my dreams second if I didn’t acknowledge being Highly Sensitive if I didn’t acknowledge my sexuality. If I simply didn’t acknowledge myself for who I am.

And now, by looking at a portrait I made, I knew that it was all good,
It changed my perception, it gave me hope. I understood that
I deserved to see myself as a work of art,
that I am worthy, 
and I am good enough.

That freezing, ice-cold time of the year at the beginning of 2018, changed my life. I took matters in my own hands again, realising I was the only one who could stand up and come to my own rescue, build up my life again.
Listening to my inner self, looking at my painted self-portrait I was told ‘Stay True To Who You Are, You Are Good Enough’©.

That’s why I paint portraits. It is my profound interest in people coupled with the awakening I had when I sketched my own portrait that led to my WHY, that makes me a story teller. Painting portraits as a story, and your story told.

To Put A Dent Into The Universe

So I am on a quest to serve as many women/womxn as possible with my art, to paint your portrait as a story, to create a typographical portrait (biography) as Art Book, to help you reconnect with your authentic self, to change your perception, to give you hope.