Karolyn Alexander Tscharnack decided she would finally become an artist in April 2003.
Today she is an accomplished local artist who published her first book.
Tscharnack’s book, “Watercolor Cookbook – Recipes for Mixing Delicious Color,” features not only instructions on how to create the vibrant colors she uses, but also a gallery of some of her paintings.
“The only good recipes I know are for mixing color,” Tscharnack said.
Tscharnack said the book became a record of her paintings for those who collect her work and for her grandchildren.
Tscharnack will have three book signings in November. One of them will be in the Cultural Arts Center in Whitewater during the Whitewater Arts Alliance members’ show. Tscharnack has been a part of the Whitewater Arts Alliance since it was formed and participates in most events.
Linda Long, the president of the Whitewater Arts Alliance, said Tscharnack has won two viewer’s choice awards at previous members’ shows.
Tscharnack said she has loved the arts since she was a kid. She got her start in art at UW-Whitewater, where she was an art major.
Unfortunately, she couldn’t finish her degree, but she returned to painting when she decided she was “going to become the next great self-taught watercolor artist.”
She started attending an adult watercolor class at the L’Atelier Art Studio in Janesville. Tscharnack began filling in for her teacher in 2007 and now teaches that class, as well as one in the Starin Park Community Center in Whitewater.
Tscharnack said one of her favorite parts of teaching is how appreciative her students are.
“I rarely refer to them as students. I just consider them all artists at different levels,” she said.
According to Tscharnack, anyone who picks up a brush and puts paint on paper is an artist.
Tscharnack said she believes all people should support the arts, whether they create the art or not.
Her license plate reads “ARTSEE,” because she thinks viewing art is a good thing.
“I like to say that if you can’t be making art, the next best thing is seeing art,” Tscharnack said.
Tscharnack said much of her art is inspired by bright colors. She said she is a very visual person, and her surroundings also inspire her paintings.
Her at-home studio is filled with her paintings. Tscharnack has created paintings based on pictures of a trip to France and Door County, paintings based on the farm near her house, paintings of Milwaukee scenary, and flowers from a Janesville parking lot.
“I can see things I didn’t see when I was working,” Tscharnack said.
She worked for over 15 years at UW-Whitewater as a training coordinator for Technology and Information Services.
Tscharnack said her style is not to be photorealistic. She said that she isn’t trying to improve Mother Nature with her art, but she sometimes changes Mother Nature to suit her better.
Long said Tscharnack is not only a close friend but a very talented artist.
“The Whitewater Arts Alliance is pleased about [Tshcarnack’s] new book and proud to help promote it,” she said.
Tscharnack’s work can be seen at the Rock River Gallery in Jefferson.
She has three book signings scheduled in November: One at the Janesville Performing Arts Center on Nov. 2, one at the Cultural Arts Center in Whitetwater on Nov. 4, and one at the Rock River Gallery on Nov. 17.
Her book can be found in several local bookstores and art galleries.