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2018 Annual Guide: Falmouth

Karen Rinaldo Falmouth

Karen Rinaldo. Photo by Paige Biviano

A day in the life of: Karen Rinaldo, local artist and community leader

By Allyson Plessner

Karen Rinaldo’s day begins in the early morning. As an artist, she likes to use the quiet of the early hours to collect her thoughts. “I can often be found submerged in thought,” she says. “People assume that if you’re not holding a paintbrush, you’re not working, but I’m always in awe of the creative process. One’s greatest asset is the ability to think things out.”

Rinaldo has no shortage of inspiration. Her studio is an old commercial fish market overlooking Falmouth Harbor, where she can watch boaters come and go just outside her window or from the vantage point of her deck. “I love the fact that I am able to go to work in a special place, surrounded by water—my oxygen—and a view of the sea, constantly in motion and always moody,” she says. Rinaldo shares her space with other local business owners, which is a fitting situation for a woman who is passionate about community involvement and making a difference.

“I’ve always wanted to be a painter,” says Rinaldo. “My uncle was a commercial sign painter but loved the fine arts. What I remember most is the smell from the paints he used—all terribly toxic lacquers, but it dazzled me to see production at play and watch someone happy at work.”

Currently, Rinaldo is working on a Heritage Map series for the Falmouth Preservation Alliance. These maps are hand drawn and bring attention to existing attractions in any given town as well as sites and buildings that are now gone, drawn in a sepia color. Rinaldo has already completed two historic maps since she began the project in 2015, one for Falmouth and one for Woods Hole.

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