a new vision

July 28, 2020
by Karen Phillips Curran
Being alone is not a new thing for many artists. Lots of us spend solitary days inside our minds, inside our studios. It is a bit of a dichotomy, since we are the monitors of our society, expressing its beauty, its angst, its troubles and its joys. We are the canary of the veritable coal mine of our planet, our population, our culture, our gender, our creed, our environment, did I miss anything? Many artists are simply here to predictably render the surroundings they find beauty in, a mountain, a stream, a field, a backyard lane and much more, gets rendered in a style that represents it but doesn’t necessarily define it photographically. We then are treated to an enhanced version of what is seen by one’s naked eye. Their efforts enhance and itemize the beauty of the scene. I’ve been an artist who appears to be of that ilk, for many years, refining techniques that I learned early in life. As I have aged I have sought to minimalize my style, bring it down to bare bones, and leave out the distracting details. In 2004 I was diagnosed with cancer in my eye and faced the all too real […]
Read More
Some of us are deep into our isolation.  We are about to break free from the chrysalis of our time alone. Our world begins to open up after quarentine. My life has had self isolation as a theme for many years. I moved into a boarding house while I was in high school. I kept a lot to myself. I got through art school by scrimping and saving. I have lived  in the country  since 1979, most of my adult life. I do well being alone, expecially now. I have had great mentors for it and have taken my cues from them and how they coped. It is my creativity that saves me. We all may have internal dialogue and I have always revelled in what i call ‘head painting’. I carefully imagine a scene, or use the one in front of me. I begin to imagine painting it, lay down the initial colours. I then define the colours, add strength and character, light and dark…its an internal activity that then gets acted out when the canvas/paper and paint are within reach. Here is one of my stones watercolours.  I have spent many hours watching water… What we do in […]
Read More

Black Water

June 20, 2019
by Karen Phillips Curran
For many years I have been painting images of water. It began at a stressful juncture of my life and I have used the images as a continuing challenge for creativity as well as mindfullness. Creating rythmic imagery has a calming effect on me, the artist. I can tell from feedback about the works, that they create that same calm feeling when looked upon. I am grateful for that. These three acrylics are called ‘Black Water’. They are for sale on Artbomb …or from me here 560$ plus shipping and taxes  
Read More
My creative process begins long before it ‘appears’ in ‘real’ life. They say it takes 10,000 hours to become masterful at a skill. Some multitude of those hours are encoded in the thought processes that go on in the beginning, middle and end of creation. My studio is part of my home, I’ve worked like that all my creative life. When I did murals, museum work and stage sets, I would immerse myself in that place, creating the environment by being in and of it. I would live waking and dreaming of this monumental art I was creating, until it was finished. At times, the ordinary moments of life- doing the dishes, folding laundry, sweeping a floor- the kinds of activities that hardly need a lot of attention (having done them all my 60+ years), are exactly the formula for creative thought. I can go places in my mind and create pieces there. I can solve issues, imagine new colours or old colours, and explore new ideas. This exploration and extrapolation are where the creative process begins, only then does the actual, physical painting process begin. Like Life, paintings rarely turn out as planned. No matter, I don’t think they are supposed to. They […]
Read More
“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….
Read More
                A hay wagon rattles past me, again. Its dust settles on us here, country roads in the summer…that smell, the dust, the sounds… I spend a fair amount of time on country roads, I have to in order to get anywhere from here. the sights I pass are iconic in a purely Canadian way. They reflect my environment. Here I’ve created some interesting pairs. They are acrylic painted on canvas that is attached to wooden ovals. They are ready to hang.                     Some of these are favourite fields, all are places that made an impression on me each time I saw them. They are familiar to me.                 These are all summer images, they feel hot, sultry and dreamlike. Let me know if you want them for your wall…$350 to 450 for the pairs…shipping would be extra.  
Read More
I love this time of year. When the shackles of winter are removed. When winter’s icy veil is lifted from our eyes life can renew itself. Going past the front door requires no coat, no mitts, no scarf, sigh. Green creeps into view slowly at first, then jogs along at a clip, like a happy pony will on its way homeward. The scent of lilac pervades the air right now. It is a distinctive aroma, and quite dear to me. It has a romantic sense to it.  I breathe it in deeply as I pass by the bushes to my rural mailbox. It soothes the chill deep inside me, this winter past was a difficult one. The verdant green this time of year is a balm to the soul. I,  like may artists throughout history, have struggled with the colour green. Its a delicate balance making that colour reveal the sense you want it to impart….it is spring,full on summer, the waning days before the leaves change? Different plants have a genetic tendency towards different greens. Some green for you   Summer Fantasy 20×16 1801 I recall my early days of painting in Bermuda. By chance I was in the gallery […]
Read More
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!
Read More