Carmel Magazine

Carmel Magazine, Summer/Fall 2017

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"This community believes in me as an artist and that gave me confi- dence to break away," Burkman says. "It scared the hell out of my parents." Not unfounded concern. Living off the kindness of art lovers is not exactly a life plan parents embrace. "I didn't go to school for ar t, so I've been winging it," she says. "At first I didn't feel right charging. I felt comfor table bar tering." Burkman became resourceful, subsisting on rice and tuna, or chowder samples from Fisherman's Wharf. "I would get excited when I found a mustard packet," she says. All this fed her soul more than her body. As a child, she never paint- ed but drew obsessively, creating surrealistic worlds, combining and pulling images out of nature. Living off the grid as an adult spurred new ar tistic growth. "I learned to paint looser, heavy thick paint strokes instead of metic- ulous ones," she says. "It changes my ar t. I'm not a rule follower. I like to experiment." On her website,, Burkman shows off a wide array of styles, from murals to hand-painted bags to portraits. One of those por- traits—a colorful mosaic of former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders—has turned a lot of heads. It's part of Burkman's unique paint- chip artwork, incorporating scraps of dried paint to piece together images. "When I would do murals, paint would dry up and I would peel it off," 236 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S U M M E R / F A L L 2 0 1 7 "New Growth" is an acrylic piece made of recycled paint chips that represents the Big Sur fires. Burkman says listening to music with her sister created a flow and inspired her to doodle, sketch and paint.

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