Karen at her home studio, posing with her paintings
Karen Ann Hitt at home studio

How did you get started and then develop your career? How do you describe success?
Karen Ann Hitt: Ironically, I got started by growing up very tall and skinny and having to learn to sew at 12 years old to make clothes that fit my rare size. All of that led to my learning Advanced Technical Fashion Design in college level vo-tech high school courses and earning a partial scholarship by designing a wedding dress.

Culminating from all things Art consuming my attentions, I asked my Fashion Design teacher where I should go to college. She only named one: Parsons School of Design in New York. Therefore, I applied, and resolved that if I did not get in, I would just go to Miami Dade Community College until they accepted me. Well, I was accepted first try, and off I went!

The Foundation year at Parsons introduced me to a whole world I never even knew existed. Classroom for costume drawing class was in the basement of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. While in the basement, I saw a layout drawing by Leonardo da Vinci on display that he used to transfer onto a fresco by making pin holes along the lines and chalk; pieces of history like these forever changed me. A priceless education, that grew from the fashion.

A funny tale, in my first painting class the teacher recommended that I paint a “Sargent.” Little did I know she meant a Master Painter — being from a military family I sought out reference for a Sergeant! Back in the classroom I shared with her that it is much easier to find reference for Generals than Sergeants. Yes, she fell out of her chair, and yes, I had a LOT to learn! For that utter embarrassment I am forever thankful, and to this day the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art remains one of my favorite places on earth.

Studying Master Painters’ turned into a lifetime pursuit that still burns in me to this day. Realizing my true passion, I changed my major. The brand “An Original Hitt” was originally for the dress shop I thought I would open one day… now it’s just who I am.

For more of Karen’s work, visit:

palm tree in foreground; storm brewing in background
“A Gnarly Loner in a Fog”, Karen Ann Hitt, oil on linen canvas panel; available through artist
oil painting of seascape with sun shining through clouds
“Fare thee well study”, Karen Ann Hitt, oil on linen, 10 x 8 in; available through artist


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