Karin Merx | My Story Told
I am Karin Merx, an artist based in London UK
I help womxn/women reconnect with their true selves by painting portraits as a story & create a typographical portrait (biographical) Art Book of your story
FREE guide to find your Why as Artist
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.
And the loss of the love of my life
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,
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.