Ontario Artist Karen Phillips Curran

A Realist of a Sort

studio Karen Philllips Curran


Well-known contemporary Ontario artist, Karen Phillips Curran was conceived in Newfoundland but has spent much of her life in the Ottawa valley. Her Airforce  father gave her a grounding in discipline. Her artistic mother encouraged her creative sensibility. 

Karen has painted and drawn from an early age. A facility with the pencil garnered her a place in a high school dedicated to art education. There, drawing and painting were only the beginning; studies included art history, life drawing, drafting, illustration and typography, ceramics and printmaking, and once in a while she went to her math and science classes.

Armed with a boatload of skills, she has made her living with art, making her own way. She worked as a graphic artist and illustrator for several years. She taught art to children in her rural studio near Carleton Place Ontario. For over 20 years, Karen was Head Scenic Artist, at Canada’s National Arts Centre, painting their theatre production sets .  A sense of monumentality, coordination and speed are basic requirements for theatre set painting. Large scale painting is second nature, completing some wonderful murals on walls and floors.

Her watercolours and acrylic paintings have been exhibited locally in Ottawa and the Ottawa valley, as well as internationally in  Bermuda and the southern USA. In 2011 her 25th anniversary exhibit in Bermuda was a milestone.

These days she lives in the Ottawa valley in her cabin at the edge of the woods, with her purpose-built studio. Its steel cladding, glistens in the sun, and beckons her each morning.

If you have questions or want to arrange a studio visit please call Karen at 613 433-2758 or email her at karen@riverstones.ca.