The Importance of Art in Home Décor

March 19, 2017
by Karen Phillips Curran
The importance of art in home décor cannot be underestimated. Art has the power to transform a space from drab to fab, instantly. Long ago, cavemen decorated their cave walls with artistic paintings. It’s human nature to want to express ourselves through art, and to have it surround us wherever we may be. Think of all the places you’ve visited that came alive because of the art on the walls. Without art, life would be so depressingly boring. Art in home décor says something about the people who live in that home. Art tells a story without saying words. If you were to go into a home and see paintings of race cars on the wall, it’s likely a man who likes sports and energetic races lives there. Or if you visited a home with paintings of pretty flowers on the wall, all in pink, you’re likely to find a lady who likes delicate, beautiful things around her to enliven her life. Art helps define a space. It provides a focal point for each room it’s in. When you enter a room, your eye typically goes to the dominant piece of art hanging on the wall right away. This is […]
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ARTIST : definition of

November 29, 2016
by Karen Phillips Curran
artist- ar-tist = a person who creates, as in; painting with watercolours, or acrylics, drawing and sketching in pencil or pen and ink, photography, sketching, charcoal, or pastels on paper or board, sculpture, metalsmithing, clay, plastics, glass, weaving and sewing, printmaking…and more than you can alone imagine I’ve painted and drawn most of my life now. For the past 20 years my monumental artistic endeavours were with the English and French Theatre and Governor General Awards sets at Canada’s National Arts Centre in Ottawa. It was there that I enthusiastically helped create some marvellous and wonderful imagined spaces, with some of Canada’s top designers. That part of my life is over now, I’ve retired from theatre and turn my heart directly towards my watercolours and paintings and my alternative photography. I’ve been selling my Canadiana and Riverstones watercolours here at home, my Bermudian architectural pieces in my second home of Bermuda, and the southern USA. My undulating piano key series appeals to music lovers worldwide. My website has been redesigned, for your pleasure, take a peek here : HYPERLINK “http://www.phillipscurran.ca/”www.phillipscurran.ca If you see something you like call or write… Karen
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The art of life I’ve learned that life is lived in stages, sometimes one slips into the next unnoticed, other times the changes are abrupt. One’s circumstance can dictate your progress. One’s will helps define your limitations. Some blame their life events upon circumstance, but it has been shown to me over the 6 decades of my life, that our will can clearly overcome circumstance. Some folks appear to have been handed life on a silver platter. Those platters are, in some ways, deceitful. If you could walk a mile in their shoes one would discover the cost of those apparent gifts. The one thing I’ve been all my life, (apart from female), is an artist. As such, over the years, many hundreds of well-meaning folks have told me how lucky I am to have talent. Yet, talent alone is not nearly enough to succeed as an artist. Determination and a will to pursue art making are mandatory to be able to call oneself an artist. You cannot chase something while standing still. You cannot be an artist without an artistic practice. So that is why I say, Life is an art and art is my life.  
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I’m painting again. It’s been some time now. For one reason or another I’ve not been in touch with my watercolour brushes. Making art is like that, sometimes your life experience, its ebbs and flows are what needs attention, they are in fact, my muse. I’ve learned to go with the flow on these days, recognize their significance and store them for fodder when the brushes are in your hand. But enough of me – Our disappearing iconic rural architecture that’s what these new full sheet watercolours (22”x30”) works are. So – why rural architecture? I live in the country, have for most of my life. Cities are cool, I like cities, but I prefer to live in the country. I see these structures as a bit nostalgic, a bit grande, a bit spooky sometimes and a big part of our history as Canadians, and… a big part of the visual landscape of my life. I don’t profess to know much about agriculture, but I know what I like in a tiny out of the way church, the meeting halls, barns of all sorts, century homes long abandoned, one room schoolhouses and oh my, backs of sheds, barnyards…enough for a […]
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college

September 14, 2016
by Karen Phillips Curran
                                      I never went to college, it’s a sad story so I won’t bore you with it now, because now I am going to college, well…just a class, a painting class, I felt I needed a little push. I’ve been painting and selling my work for over 40 years now and I felt like I needed a creative kick in the pants…I’ll keep you posted!
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life is an art

June 23, 2016
by Karen Phillips Curran
I have a drawing, mounted on board, in my kitchen. It is done with pen and ink, and a bit of wash, on newsprint, so it has yellowed and darkened considerably… Someone framed it long ago. I created it in 1971. It is a little still life, an onion, beginning to sprout, (I was living with my, not much of a cook, father at the time) When I did it, I was attending a vocational art school. It seems like yesterday, and never, at the same time…like I made it up, but I have proof… here it is…….life is an art….
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Traintime

April 20, 2016
by Karen Phillips Curran
The train rattles and rocks it’s way eastward,  bringing me back to my studio, to my commitments and the solitary life I lead there. The water rushes and defines the sky by way of reflection. The fields are marginally greener since my trip west only a few days ago. I’m struggling with choices I must soon make and the train offers me time to think. Life is shifting for me, it’s partly the time of life and partly serendipity, that is offering these  divergent paths. Only patiently waiting for the right answer to be obvious is the answer to the questions posed. Life is a continuum and I’ll put one foot in front of the other and ask the questions that need to be asked and all will be what will be. Save Save Save
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The smell of ice is still in the air. The nearby stream rustles and rumbles, as water passes from place to place, not unlike my thoughts. It feels like spring, but it is only a teaser. What else is spring, but a teaser? She shows her face beside a winters day,  flashing her warm smile on our expectant faces, then she disappears behind a bank of new fallen snow. Then one day, some green appears. A group of small leaves appear, who have had their heads resting under the whorls of dead grasses that lay recumbent. The weight of winter lay upon their collective shoulders and they fell to embrace the earth in a bruised dance. But crocus and snowdrops, trout lilies, and my favourite, scilla, all vy for their showplace in the forest floor. One at a time and in scattered groups they open their tiny flower faces to the spring show. A gentle wave of birdsong accompanies their appearance, calling out “its spring” in no uncertain terms. A chorus will soon join the chicadees, the distinct scree of the red winged blackbird alongside the distant honk of incoming geese while careening towards the wet fields. More will follow in […]
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can’t wait

February 25, 2016
by Karen Phillips Curran
It is a wintry day and getting to that time of winter when thoughts of spring appear in my mind, unbidden. I have several of my paintings depicting spring here in the house, that can trigger it. The bright blue light of a mid-winter day outside is blinding in contrast to the warm enfolding colours of spring. My patience wanes as the weather intimidates us with its burden of, yet again, more fresh fallen snow and ice. It has actually been a relatively easy winter, and I am not overly burdened with the need to drive in it on a daily basis as, now, I have no “job”. For me, my irritability at winter’s overstay, is predicated by the fact that I usually spend time painting in Bermuda in the winter. It is my favourite time to go there, I love the light, the balmy air and the vacant beaches, the vibrant winter exhibit schedules and seeing all the long time art buddies I have nurtured there over the years. I’ll miss them this winter. But I rest assured I will see them again one day. So I remind myself to be patient, that spring will appear soon. The maple bush […]
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Every artist experiences change. It is that which can either compel creativity, or thwart it. I am in the midst of an artistic change right now. After 17 seasons as the head scenic artist for Canada’s National Arts Centre,  I am moving on. I have called it ‘retiring’, mostly to signify it’s job like status. I was, have been, contracted each season since the 1999-2000 season, to paint all the English Theatre productions as well as various Theatre Francais sets, the Governor General Awards sets, as well as other special projects around the building. It has been a rewarding experience. I was renumerated for the work I did on an hourly basis. The workshop is a large well equipped studio to work in, it has its faults, but we worked within those boundaries.  It has a typical 70-s building issue, poor ventilation,  and so I have been spared many of the toxic chemicals I may have been seconded to use. I learned to paint with what I call the ‘30 foot eye’, seeing the images from that distance, when you are actually only 5 feet away. (I am 5’4” and that is as far away as I can be holding […]
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