Text by Tanya L. Cooper
Award-winning pencil artist Karmel Timmons came by her talent naturally. Her mother was an artist at heart but a full-time mom by day who would leave art supplies around the house in hopes that her children would take an interest in drawing. “I think she wanted me to become an artist,” says Karmel, who pursued art throughout school. The belief that it would be impossible to make a living as an artist, though, drove her to a job far from the art world.
It wasn’t until Karmel was 31 and mother to her own daughter that the art world called to her again. She moved to a ranch in Elbert, Colorado, and bought some horses. Although she had not picked up a pencil and sketch pad since she was 17, she felt an easy connection to the horses and began to draw again. “To me, they are the world’s most beautiful animal,” she says. After making a quick sketch of a horse, she realized that this was what she needed to be doing and began to give a career in art a second look.
Karmel quickly transitioned into working as a full-time artist. “Within just a few years, I was doing things I never dreamed I would get to do,” she says. She was accepted into the prestigious Coors Western Art Exhibit on her first try. At the same time, Karmel’s mother was battling terminal cancer. Her mother was proud that her own dreams of her daughter becoming a successful artist were coming true.
When asked about her favorite drawings, Karmel smiles and mentions her work of a mare and her foal. The comparison of the mother and child in her work, as well as in her life, is near to her heart. Now, Karmel’s daughter is studying for a future career in art, making it three generations of women with a dream and the talent to make it happen.