Portrait of the Artist

Kara Schlabaugh


Memories of Iowa

Kara Schlabaugh, Yellow Fields

By Margaret Foster

February 6, 2017



Graphic designer Kara Schlabaugh lives in Denver. She began painting in 2013 during a semester abroad in Florence, Italy.

“My father owns the same woodworking shop that his father owned. He made Arts and Crafts-style clocks and other [works]. I grew up following my dad around his wood shop. When we were younger, we’d go to art shows as a family. My parents have always pushed me to do art.

In Florence, where I took my first art class, I mostly painted Italian landscapes. But there’s something about returning home to the land you grew up on.

I draw inspiration from where I grew up in Iowa, a small town in the eastern part of the state. It’s a farming community, so there are lots of corn fields. It was known to be an Amish community. Lots of farms. Simple living. I took it for granted.

People forget about Iowa, but it has some beautiful landscapes—those big skies and fields. It’ll hit me most when I’m driving. That’s when I see a lot of my inspiration. My paintings are pulling from those memories.”

Margaret Foster is associate editor of the Scholar.

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