Welcome to my blog
Artist, specialising in oil paintings of towns, historic buildings, human activity. Grew up in Cambridge, went to London University, moved to Kenilworth in 1984
By karen, Nov 15 2018 08:17AM
I've been having some fun with house portrits recently. All the ones shown here are terraced houses but shown standing alone so that I can include parts of the surrounding topography and things personal to the owners. When painting I like to produce something a camera couldn't possibly capture, so this kind of interpretation appeals to me. It also puts all the focus on the client's house and shows it to best advantage.
If anyone is interested in a house portrait in oil on canvas they are approxiamately 16" x 20" and work out at around £400 - £450. I need good photos and some information about family interests, family members, cars, pets and the surrounding area... although I can usually find good images on Google Earth of the surrounding landscape. Send me a message and we can start a dialogue... lead time is usually about 4 - 6 weeks.
By karen, Sep 6 2018 08:45AM
I was asked recently if I would do a portrait of a beloved dog who has been through the wars. I am busy with large commissions at the moment and would normally say no... but in this case I found myself agreeing to do it. I had an idea it might help me with my current painting project if I stood back from it for a while... concentrated on something completely different. And I think it worked! I enjoyed painting Brenna and have managed to resolve some of the issues I was having with the wedding painting, my current commission, which is moving along nicely now.
Busily peopled paintings can scramble the brain. Brenna made me feel calm... who couldn't love that perky expression?
'Brenna' is a painting in oil on canvas. 16 x 20".
By karen, Nov 21 2017 08:19AM
Earlier this year I was asked to do a large piece based on an old stone wall. It was suggested the image should be abstract in nature. I liked this commission and was excited to start.
To avoid being too literal in my preliminary sketches I worked in oil pastel. For an oil painter oil pastel has similar properties, there is a solidity about it and you can scrape into it and create textures. I enjoy this kind of sketching, it is physical and absorbing.
The results were pleasing although I only used them as a way into the subject matter. They have been sold to the same client and will be framed and hung as works of art in their own right. I was reluctant to let them go if I'm honest.
The final work, an oil painting I have called 'Wall', came about after further sketching and experimenting. It was a lot of fun to paint, with layering, splattering, dripping and palette knife tecniques all being employed.
The painting is now hanging in the client's house. It was an enjoyable and challenging change of style from my usual commissions and I relished the opportunity to try something different.
By karen, Jul 10 2017 02:31PM
This is a recent commission, a present for a Clare College alumni. My aim was to capture a memory of the happy, carefree days which follow end of year exams. A week of parties and May Balls commonly known as May Week in Cambridge (and therefore always falling in June!).
I have been to such balls in my youth and was able to plunder my own memories as well as work with ideas provided by the client. Personal memories help enormously when working out my imaginary scenarios within their rather stylised settings. The setting is always a representation of place, which is faithful in essence but is taken from a rather unusual perspective... composition and the overall tapestry of form and colour being of greater importance than any attempt at photographic accuracy.
By karen, Nov 12 2016 10:41AM
Senate House Passage is the subject of my new Cambridge painting, available from The Lawson Gallery on King's Parade in Cambridge. This passage is a short cut from the town centre through to Garret Hostel bridge over the river Cam. It is therefore used by students, tourists and towns people alike. It was also the location for a recent episode of 'Grantchester' and I couldn't resist making a small reference to this fact, look for the vicar and the detective. The Senate House is where the graduation ceremonies take place. On the roof is a ghostly image of a car, a reference to a famous story I remember from my youth where students were able to place a car on top of the Senate House roof during the night, and it was only years later it was discovered how they achieved this amazing feat. The rope over Caius wall near The Gate of Honour refers to the days when students had to be back inside the college before the gates were locked at night. No one wanted to recieve the wrath of a disgruntled porter by knocking on the locked gate. So the only way in was to scale the wall, the very high wall, often in a slightly inebriated state!