Our new Artist in Community program, in partnership with Dare Arts and the National Park Service, gives Outer Banks artists the opportunity to demonstrate their crafts or perform their arts in our Outer Banks national parks!

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your background in art. 

I found my happiness creating art when I was little and living on the Outer Banks. It started with colored pencils and markers until I fell in love with painting. Art consumes most of my free time, but it’s never felt like a chore. 

What do you strive to convey in your work? 

Most of my paintings are started in backyards, local parks and gardens. I hope my work conveys how those spaces feel while you’re in them. 

Where do you find your inspiration? 

I find my inspiration outdoors. I love painting architecture, second only to painting trees. They are my favorite subject, and why I’m chronically running out of green paint. Nature can be so pretty that it’s almost overwhelming. Painting, especially plein air, relieves that overwhelm by making me slow down and spend time with a scene until I feel like I’ve done it justice. 

What do you enjoy most about living in the Outer Banks? 

My favorite part of living on the Outer Banks might be its versatility. I love having the ability to see the sun set over the sound from the Wright Brothers National Memorial on the same day I visited the Nags Head Woods Preserve. 

Why are our Outer Banks national parks important to you? 

They are important to me because they blend the history of the Outer Banks with its ecosystem in an accessible and educational way. 

Is there anything else you would like to share with us? 

I’m so excited to participate in Artist in Community and share my love for painting! I’m on a mission to convince people to start painting outside. It’s so easy to start, even if it’s in a backyard, or very quickly on a vacation. 

Artist Statement: Karyn Renea Soto is a local plein-air artist heavily influenced by nature and architecture. Painting outside on the Outer Banks is her happy place, and she hopes to show others how accessible and therapeutic plein air painting can be for them.

Website | https://karynrenea.com/    Instagram | @artbykrenea