why do i paint?

December 18, 2018
by Karen Phillips Curran
“Stones”  This long-term series, done in watercolours is one of the mainstays of my art practice. There are endless permutations of the imagery I see when at watersides in my Ontario home. I strive to bring to you, the magic of these river and lakesides. I could go on and on…but just take a look….
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Water

July 31, 2018
by Karen Phillips Curran
watersides images painted in watercolour rendering the viewer to become calm
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I am most inspired by light. My subject matter may change and shift, but light remains the constant. Sometimes it’s the light through the trees, or on a path, in a puddle. Other times it is the dappled light on a wall, a gate, a shutter, or a door. The contrast of a blackbird in a snow-covered field holds the same attraction. Light and contrast are visual candy. It is sweet, occasionally bittersweet. I choose a medium to suit the flavour and the intensity that I want to impart. Sometimes I use my tried-and-true watercolour, but my facility with acrylic, pastel, collage, alternative photography, or a mix of any of these, can satisfy the muse. Part of the journey is to tactilely manage the medium, with the message. I always ask myself which is the best voice to use for this . . . Unlike many other professional artists, I tend to move around my media, asking them to play with me, to capture even more of the essence required, to create the message.
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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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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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                                                                                                         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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snowshoes

March 9, 2013
by Karen Phillips Curran
  snowshoes I like snowshoes, because given enough snow, you can go anywhere in the woods. My woods are quiet this time of year, no birds, no bugs, no beasts. All are at rest, or have left the vicinity, only to return shortly. Yes, spring is on its way. I cannot smell it yet out here, but I can feel its approach. The sun says its on its way. The light is stronger, richer, and a bit warmer. I follow the deer tracks in circles. Their pathways are well marked in the cedars behind my cabin. Dappled light in every direction draws my attention. Ice blue shadows surround me. Warm yellow light kisses the bark near me. I cannot look up without a tear coming to my eye. I am out here to feel it feel winter without spring. So I can paint it later in the studio. I fill up my senses with it, breathe it while I am in it so I can bring it back later with a paint brush in my hand, and a will to re-create that feeling.
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