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Karen Sparks carving

I've lived most of my life in the mountains of West Virginia. I met my husband in high school. We married after graduation and raised our family here.

I've always had an interest in art. I took a few classes but my children were small and it seemed too difficult to give it the time necessary and it wasn't something I felt passionate about. My children were nearly grown before I though about being artistic again. In the mid 1980's I did wall murals for friends and by word of mouth acquaintance. I did children's rooms, oriental, southwestern, etc. I made a little extra money but it wasn't anything you could depend on. We needed more income so I went to work. Restaurants, factory work and then 11 years at Wal Mart.

One day I asked God if there wasn't something else I could do? Within a few days a carver came to Lowes for their Grand Opening. My husband, Mike, asked if I would like to go and see him carve. I was on lunch, but I said sure for a few minutes. He took chunks of wood and made the most beautiful creations. I was fascinated and knew deep within this was the answer to my prayer!!! My grandfather had whittled small animals and horses and cowboys. I have a couple of his pieces, but I had never thought seriously of carving until that moment. This was Feb. 2001.

I gave my notice to Wal Mart for the end of July 2001. I got my profit sharing in November bought some tools and started whittling. I love the three dimensional art. I love finding the different things hidden within unique woods, it's like a new adventure with each piece. I believe with this "God given talent," I am growing more and more and sharing new ideas for my Vision in Sculpture.