Recently I was commissioned to paint a landscape in my Local Colour series. Landscapes have long been a series of mine, first in watercolour and now I do more acrylic landscapes. This one is called Summer Breezes and I do hope the reason is obvious. It is in what we call landscape format, a long thin one, designed to fit in a specific area of the clients beautiful rural home. It gently reminds the viewer of the hills and trees seen from their windows. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge, appreciating the input the client gave me during the process. They were happy to receive their piece and had the hammer and hanging hooks at ready! So If you see something you like here on my website but want to commission me to do another in a different size or format to fit a specific wall, get in touch! i would be more than happy to talk to you about it! It’s as easy as that!
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Those words appeared in my morning digest of information. They stopped in in my tracks. I’m just waking up, and they just woke me up. They woke me up to my mission, my like as an artist. Currently, I am working on a largish (64×20) landscape commission ( yes! I do commissions!). I have a series I call ‘Local Colour’, landscapes from the region I live in, the upper Ottawa Valley. 99% of them are impressions, only once in a while are they of a specific place. There is much about this part of Ontario I love, the rolling hills, trees galore, mixed woods, rivers lakes and rocks and sky. The fall colours are astonishing, spring and summer too. I adore the gently sloping shadow studded vistas of winter. The client hasn’t seen the painting yet so i can’t show you, but i can show you from whence it came…
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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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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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                                                                                                         Wherever I am I paint, draw and see….I am setting a new studio space in a place far from home. Love drives me there, is my motivation, that, and a thirst for new experiences, new visions, new warmth, new trust, new work….
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Birch

September 4, 2013
by Karen Phillips Curran
A few years ago now, I painted the set for King Lear at our National Arts Centre in Ottawa. The director, Peter Hinton, had set the play in Canada at the appropriate time period. It was a wonderful rendition of the classic. It was a simple set and included a large faux birch tree. When the production was finished the tree was destined for the dump. With the help of  a few friends I managed to get it out to my property in Springtown. A few days ago it finally found its resting place, alongside my studio! Here it is……it is made of sona tube, foam, and paint, and a little theatrical ingenuity….. 21 feet long/high…      
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studio time

August 23, 2012
by Karen Phillips Curran
  ahh where does the time go? Working quietly in the studio today. I say quietly, but it is interspersed with periods of song. I often sing while I am painting, and dance. (I can’t actually carry a  tune in a bucket but hey I’m alone so who cares?) The actions energize me, and the work. Right now I am working on some undulating keyboard images that will become small floorcloths. I am doing two at a time here and one is upside down, so can move the board around and not be distracted by the other image. It also gives me a chance to see the image as an abstract, so I can check composition. But today my paint brush has been all over the proverbial map. I painted a silver coat on a gate that will eventually grace my studio wall, a piece of theatre that will involve my bathroom door. I couldn’t resist. Right now it is outside leaning against the wall, drying. I also went at my cabin, and screen door. First priming them, because much of the paint used here has been oil based, so priming was a safe bet. The O’Brien theatre doors I […]
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