April 5, 2015 , In: Ceramic Clay, Clay, Inspiration

I feel as though I am waking up from a long slumbering winter… having been sick since before the holidays (which I recently discovered was mono), I have been mostly in a fog, not getting much done, and when I do manage to accomplish some work, it is not nearly enough. I am starting to feel better (thankfully) and am anxious to return to a concept I have been thinking about and sketching for almost two years:  a series I call “Out West” or “Wanderlust”, loosely based on musings of exploration and travels to wilderness destinations.

I offer here a sampling of “wanderlust”… inspirations and a bit of my own work.

Arrow Connector by me (Karen Totten, me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).


Distant Mountains, imaginary landscape sketch by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).
Hiking, by Tomas Hein, Photographer.


Fantasy Mountainscape, by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).


Glen Etive, by Revelation Space.
Bison Notebook, photo and notebook by Sam Larson.


Arrow and woodland beads in progress, by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).


65 / 365 – Radiance – Drawing 365 Take 2, sketch by Henry Baker.


Bear, Arrow and Fossil beads by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).
Man and Woman on Southeastern Idaho Reservation, from Old Hopes & Boots.


American Vintage Badges from WE AND THE COLOR.
Bear sketch by Sam Larson.


Teepee bead by me (© 2013, 2014, 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).


Canoe bead by me (© 2013, 2014, 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).


Mars, from HiRise Mars Orbiter.


Martian “Blueberries” – small spherical pebbles found on Mars (Nasa).


Hello Universe by Ajit Menon.


Mars, from HiRise Mars Orbiter
Orion, by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).
Orion (fossil on back), by me (© 2105, Karen Totten, Starry Road Studio).
I think that the desire to wander often comes as Winter falls away. As snow and ice give way to running streams and sun on the hills, we come out of hibernation and seek new adventures. That is the spirit I hope to capture in my work. 
Lastly, I want to share an old song that is ironically about the beginning of Winter’s descent rather than it’s departure. However, I find that it beautifully illustrates a facet of Wanderlust…

Joni Mitchell – Urge For Going from JoniMitchell.com on Vimeo.


Karen Totten

Karen has worked professionally as an artist and designer for over 30 years in a variety of creative disciplines: architectural design, illustration, art direction, mixed media art, interaction design. She currently works full time as a User Experience (UX) Design Principal for an international consultancy. When not flying to work every week, her other passions are ceramic art, sketching, and occasionally, jewelry design. “For me, the creative life, from UX to fine art, has always been one of exploration and adventure. As the daughter of an air force navigator, I grew up a traveler. To this day I am intrigued by stories and motifs that transcend time, culture, and geography.“
  1. Reply

    I am so glad to hear you are feeling better! (Mono takes time to resolve, don't push too hard and treat yourself to lots of TLC). Your new beads are awesome..omg, love the new teepee and the constellations! Thank you for an inspiring post!

    • Reply

      Thank you Carol – I'm trying hard NOT to do much. It's difficult though since I have so much I want to accomplish! Thank you for your lovely comments. 🙂

  2. Reply

    I love how you tied your inspirational images with your wonderful beads.

    • Reply

      Thank you Terrie – it's a fun exercise for any creative endeavor. 🙂

  3. Reply

    I love your beads! They speak to me.

  4. Reply

    Every image was a treat to my eyes, Karen! What a delightful entry! Thank you!

  5. Reply

    Karen, I am certainly glad you are feeling better. I love the inspiration for this series. What fantastic beads you have created. Beautiful and inspiring photos also.

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