The sun casts itself over towards the yard arm, on this, my first day of the rest of my life. The last show I’ll be painting, for Canada’s National Arts Centre, English Theatre, has been a baroque rendition of 12th Night. The Old Trout Puppet Company has designed an outrageous interpretation for me to manifest for them. It was certainly a labour of love. It opens in a few days and I am expectant…. to see the costumes, the props, the actors, the lights and sounds, bringing it all to life, if only for a little while… this is how it all begins… a small part of the floor…
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The Bermuda journey

September 17, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
I’ve a few hours before I leave Bermuda, yet again. I am packed and ready to go. I have come and gone too many times to count, though I have made it a mission to count when I get home…passport stamps will tell me the exact number of visits to this fair isle. Its colours and texture have been a source of inspiration and a dedication to a purpose since 1986, when I first visited. Bermuda opened my eyes to a new world of colour, texture, form,  and drama of the skies. The turquoise waters enthralled me and my artistic journey began. Many visions repeat themselves and, the expanded new me, on each visit, relishes its connection with my past. Goodbye bermuda, until we meet again
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Viridian

September 15, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
Everywhere I look, there is that colour, viridian. It is used extensively in maritime areas all over the word. Its a much loved, old fashioned colour here in Bermuda too. All of Bermuda is maritime, it is a small country, an island,  (or rather, a series of connected islands) situated mid altantic. It has no near neighbours, but enjoys the company of many visitors, all of whom have come to shape the history of this idyllic  place. The architecture here has fascinated me since the first moment I set eyes on it. I began my artistic journey here in 1986. In those days the color range of the homes,  cottages, was more limited to traditional white, pink, coral, brick red, blue and viridian. The pink came from mixing whitewash with local rich red soil. The coral colour replicated the beaches,  who’s peach coloured sand is actually a mix of tiny broken pieces of the magnificent coral reef that surrounds the island.  The blue and viridian have origins I am not aware of. All the rooves here are made of stepped flat stone, historically limestone slabs cut from the island structure. They are laid upon cedar rafters and sealed with whitewash. […]
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Open studio

August 5, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
This week is my open studio. It has been a labour of love …a few years ago I built my studio, on the foundation of 45 years of making art. This past year I joined my cold water cabin to it….literally. it was lifted from its place in the lowlands of my  property here in Springtown, and transported to its new position, almost ajacent to my studio. Then, a place I call the new room,  was constructed between the two. Heaven on earth I have created here for myself. It has become a rambling telescoping structure. I have lived in a 14′ X 19’space for several years now, and so, just about anything is rambling from my perspective. ….  
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morning

April 1, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
The kiskadee sounds his morning wake-up call and the sun’s eastern rays begin their journey towards me. My window here faces north so the morning light traverses across the rooflines just outside the window. They highlight the neighbour’s stepped roof. Each morning, the light is slightly different and I awaken, eager to see the difference. The last time I was here I did this small series of roofline paintings…          
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First Shamrock, then Clover

March 17, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
A few years ago I painted two steel doors for a magnificent, historic, local movie theatre, in Renfrew, The O’Brien. The building has  a long history and is a real gem. The owner has kept the place up,  and currently uses a digital projector for his nightly, and matinee, screenings. But this is about  painting.  The first O’Brien commission involved painting two steel doors, here, in my then newly built studio. It was a vast place then, unencumbered by clutter. There was room to house the two doors readily.  But it was summer, and for the initial background painting I housed the doors on sawhorses, under a tent in the gravel driveway. This was ideal.  One afternoon, as the process continued, tsp, wipe, sand, fill, sand, prime, paint, turn, tsp, sand, fill, sand, wash, prime, paint, turn. Two doors, four sides, all to appear the same. They were heavy steel doors to turn on my own, so the owner would appear at just the right moment to help me flip them over. One afternoon the wind started to pick up, and a sudden freak microburst came and tore the tent apart, along with half the countryside. After that, the doors came inside, […]
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Its the dead of winter  here at home, and a bitingly cold one this year. I ponder my days to come, not soon enough,  when I will grace the shores in Bermuda. The pink coral laced shorelines will cover my toes with the tiniest of shells, the breeze will ruffle my hair and the sun will come to me, spilling its golden whim in my direction. I will breathe, be calm and wash in the glory of my much loved landscape. I love winter light, those purple laced shades. The low slung shadows gracefully bending around shapes, caressing the corners and peeking out at the most unlikely moments. 
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the art of war

January 11, 2015
by Karen Phillips Curran
Artists are flesh and blood. They are born with an undeniable passion. Without that passion, they would not bother to create, to strive to put down their message… what ever it is. The general population does not understand this very well. There is a pervading premise that the artist does it for the love of it. Half true, for the love and the war it creates with their breast. It is true that many artists paint beautiful things, so where does war come in? For some it’s the struggle to get it down., to find the time, the funds and the strength of conviction to go in one direction. The artist fights within themselves to get down to it on a regular basis, to create what is in their heart their mind and their soul, to say it flamboyantly, succinctly, lyrically, brashly and so many other adjectives, I would need all the pages of Websters’ to reiterate  them all. As such, disappointment and struggle are the name of the game, none of it is easily won. There are no overnight successes, only people who dedicate their life to the struggle to be called an artist. As age creeps up on me, that struggle intensifies, wanes, and becomes just…life. […]
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Turn on a Dime

December 4, 2014
by Karen Phillips Curran
Creativity demands flexibility. Today that flexibility is tested. Let’s pass this test, I say. A large commission was cancelled today. One I had spent a considerable amount of time on. Where to go from here…I find myself drawn inexorably towards a 4×4 foot painting that has been in stasis on my painting wall for some months now. I find myself arranging the space, turning on the lights, I have indeed spent several hours over the past few months, days even, working on the piece, ….in my mind….this is about what I think it will look like…..  
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November

November 24, 2014
by Karen Phillips Curran
Its November and the darkening sky speaks to me of weight. No more basking in the sun, it is the dark time. Moods are affected by this time of transition, for it is only a period between the dark and the coming light. We who live in the northern latitudes are subject to it, regardless. Regardless of anything….Nature is a force. I start my day slowly for a change. The past few months have been full of large painting. Two sets for the stage are produced, ready for entertaining, teaching us about ourselves, reiterating well-loved stories to those who will listen willingly. I relish my part in it, I take the vision of another and manifest it with as much gusto as I can manage, it keeps bread on my table.    All that industry and joy of production are done now and I am left feeling empty…until opening night where the manifestation is then complete.    It’s not about recognition, I know how good or bad a job I have done, where I could have worked better faster cleaner sharper brighter smoother…but in the end, it is what it is and no more, then, equally magically, it is gone, poof!
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