ST. LOUIS — The funny thing about life is that it can get in the way of a person’s dreams. It happened to former 5 On Your Side anchor Karen Foss. While she broke stories and won awards as a journalist here in St. Louis, her true dream was to be an artist.
“I didn’t feel my talent was great enough to support me and my two kids,” she said.
Foss worked in St. Louis news for 30 years before retiring in 2006. But she never gave up on her original dream. Retirement gave her the opportunity to paint.
“I did start out as an art student,” she said. “To pursue this on my own is a wonderful gift."
Foss is now showing off her gift at the Duane Reed Gallery in the Central West End. Even though she spent years in front of the camera, Foss admits the showing has her a bit nervous.
“These are my babies hanging on the wall. This is the first time I’ve shown it to the public at large,” she told 5 On Your Side.
The paintings for sale are glimpses into the world around her including Crown Candy Kitchen in north city.
“There’s nothing like Crown Candy any place else in the world. That is St. Louis to me,” she said describing her works and intimate small scenes.
She paints in colorful oils. The pieces are of memorable moments and places.
“A couple of photographs that I carried around for 30, 40 years with the idea someday I am going to paint this,” she said.
Foss’ background as a journalist plays a role in her work as an artist. It taught her to look beyond what the naked eye can see.
“It’s that probing, that looking for something and then communicating it. You’re totally involved when you’re doing it. And it’s very satisfying,” she said.
Her time in TV news also taught her to have a tough skin for when the critics aren’t satisfied with her work.
“Be ready to take the brick back along with the compliments. I welcome critique because I think that’s how you grow. I’m still developing as an artist,” Foss said.
She is grateful to finally have the time to grow in her art.
“I think it is important for people as we age to have something that you love doing. I think painting will be a part of me as long as I can stand up and hold the brush,” she said.