Karen Christensen is participating in an Emerging Artist show at Fort Gallery this week

Retired nurse ventures into world of mason jar art

Langley's Arts Alive Countdown: Wondering what to do with those old mason jars? Karen Christensen has an idea that people are eating up.

A retired registered nurse, with  a passion for art, a drive for creativity, an art studio/workshop in her home, and an appreciation for succulents has merged several of her interests into a new endeavour being showcased at this weekend at Art’s Alive.

Karen Christensen, a 63-year-old Newlands area resident, is one of  close to 200 vendors who will be showcasing her latest wares at the 23rd annual arts festival being held in Downtown Langley City this Saturday, Aug. 20.

“My art tends to be whimsical and I love working from my imagination with a balance of simplicity and fine detailed lines,” Christensen said.

Although she’s explored a number of different art forms through her years – everything from pen and ink, to graphic design, to art cards showcasing her photography and art, to watercolour and acrylic painting – she’s recently found a niche combining succulents and mason jars.

“This is a fun endeavour,” said Christensen, explaining that she will be showcasing various sizes of succulents and painted jars at this weekend’s show.

“Well, I love succulents. I love Mason jars. And, I love Annie Sloan chalk paint. So I put the three together,” she said, elaborated how she makes every piece a little different.

The process typically starts with the painting of the jars with chalk paint and apply clear wax.

“And, then, I sand areas to give a distressed look. I also use dark wax to antique the jars. I also put jut or cord around the mouth of the mason jars,” she explained.

The final touch, Christensen said, is planting a variety of different kinds and sizes of succulents into the jars.

More recently she’s also applied her painting and wax techniques, turning the jars into vases versus planters.

“I spend numerous hours creating. I have no set time to do my art, just when I feel like it. Which is most of the time. I love painting, waxing and distressing the jars. I love creating… It fits fine with my lifestyle. My time is my own,” she told the Langley Advance.

The succulent and mason jar containers are a relatively new undertaking for Christensen, who rolled out the idea in May.

But, she said she’s been having some success selling them for between $10 to $30 each at the local farmers market. and is excited about the opportunity to reach thousands of art lovers this weekend when they flock to Langley City for Arts Alive.

Testing her sales pitch, she said: “Your patio table would look great with one of my succulent painted mason jar. Succulents are low maintenance and easy to take care of. They love the sun.”

In addition to this weekend’s booth at Arts Alive, more of the Langley artist’s works are also on display this month in Fort Langley.

Christensen is one of the emerging artists showing in an open studio program at Fort Gallery between Aug. 10 and 28.


Just Posted

VIDEO: Vancouver Giants couldn’t find the net: coach

Even with a six-on-three advantage, the Langley-based hockey team couldn’t earn points Sunday.

New Trinity Western student residence is a first for Canada

Five-storey building on Langley campus is second dorm to use modular construction for a quick build

Furor over Japanese flag in Langley classroom (updated)

Secondary school students petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Everett pulls ahead in Western Conference standings over Vancouver Giants

Langley-based hockey G-Men, who lost 6-5 to Everett Saturday, now prepares to take on Victoria.

Langley Thunder lacrosse teams pocket gold and silver in Richmond

Top finishes for U15 and U13-1 teams at Richmond Romp over the Remembrance Day weekend

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

UPDATE: Hells Angels on scene after body found in Maple Ridge

Body was discovered beneath the Golden Ears Bridge

Mountie left with ‘significant’ injuries after driver attempts to flee traffic stop

Richmond RCMP are looking for a dark coloured Mercedes Benz

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Most Read