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Karen McKenzie’s colourful Ode to South Australian Towns

Karen McKenzie may have jumped ship to Victoria’s Great Ocean Road, but the talented born and bred Mount Gambier artist still holds a spark for the beauty of South Australia.

That patriotic passion inspires unique and boldly coloured designs depicting some of South Australia’s iconic regional towns. Karen’s unique range of Australian-made souvenirs came about after noticing a lack of locally made mementos on her travels.

Digging out her paint brushes, which had been stored away for two decades, Karen began capturing the essence of tourist towns – by visiting and getting a feel for the layout, taking photos of each town’s unique landmarks, and then, combining her Bachelor of Arts and a natural flair for creativity to weave vibrant tapestries of each town into a masterful puzzles, tea-towels, magnets and t-shirts.

One of her latest hand-drawn pieces, captures the charm of Renmark, celebrating the Riverland town’s identity with the iconic Paringa Bridge, a blazing red sunset over Headings cliffs, the town’s Visitor Information Centre, houseboats moored on the River Murray and the famous 23rd Street Gin Distillery.

The amazing piece of artwork was sent to an Australian puzzle making company, and returned in one thousand pieces.

Other South Aussie towns immortalised in Karen’s bold designs, are her birth town of Mount Gambier, featuring the stunning Blue Lake, Tailem Bend, Hahndorf, Keith, Bordertown, Meningie, Naracoorte, Penola, Beachport, Millicent and Robe.

The next town to be cheerfully painted into a puzzle will be Murray Bridge, which will no doubt show glimpses of the iconic bridges, the majestic Murray, and maybe even the legendary Bunyip, which Karen recalls emerging from below the water to give a loud roar for the small cost of 20 cents!

“People often wonder why I paint both country SA and country Vic and the answer is simples really,” she said.  I was born and raised in Mount Gambier and grew up holidaying along the beautiful Limestone Coast, and my family now live in the glorious
Adelaide Hills. My home now is just over the SA/Vic border near Warrnambool Victoria, just a hop skip and a jump from the stunning Great Ocean Road. Talk about having the best of both worlds. ”

For a list of stockists or to check out more of Karen’s art click here



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