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 […]
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life is an art 1

April 8, 2020
by Karen Phillips Curran
Life is indeed a work of art, for me, for you too? We gradually learn the dance, the ups the downs,  the crowns and the thorns. As a teenager, I had gone to Buddist meditation sessions, and before that, had attended Quaker meetings (which involve several minutes of silence at each meeting). I was hungry, and they served food afterwards, at both meetings. I learned important lessons at the time that I was unaware of …at the time. I was hungry in many ways. Most  mornings I do a series of yoga poses. I have for many years. I learned basic Hatha yoga from a woman I knew named Ineka. In the small Ontario town I had chosen to live in, she had too, she taught us what she knew, yoga.  Most of us were from somewhere else> Almost 50 years hense…my life is an accumulation of the art of life all this time. It is like this image, it includes reflections, both real an imaginary. I make connections to the world around me with my subject, my sense of colour, texture, balance and conflict. As each years piles upon another my imagery takes on new dimensions, new subjects, new […]
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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 […]
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I awaken. I’m in the country. The sound of fog is in the air. I know it before I open my eyes, it is a quiet like no other. An early morning fisherman appears then disappears. His orange vest glows eerily until he is gone. Silently, I wish him luck. Later the sun starts to break through the mists, and green is everywhere, the shoreline, the rising stand of cedar and spruce, the water’s reflections, and if I use my artistic insight I can get the foggy air to feel green too. Here are two new pieces I’ve been working on lately. They are acrylic and graphite on canvas and board. the larger one is 43″ x 5.5″ and the smaller one is 33″ x 5.5.
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Bermuda

March 24, 2017
by Karen Phillips Curran
Wandering I lift my head and open my eyes. My second-hand camera hangs heavily around my neck. I walk, setting out in a direction that matters not. I will find my muse, she awaits me just up ahead. I follow the warmth of Bermuda’s winter light, well below the 49th parallel. This is the light that will permeate my paintings for years to come. That first day, I fell in love, and began my life long affair with light and shadow I am a studio artist, so I take the colour from here the texture from there and shapes and light from somewhere else. A new world is created from my experience.
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