karen pittaway

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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 28 2018 08:19AM

This picture represents the lovely light switching on event we have on the old High Street in Kenilworth. It is a very traditional affair, the location making it feel rather Dickensian. The Punch & Judy man arrives every year and I wanted to capture something of the magic of this special night. I also wanted to show a beautiful new shop selling British arts and crafts, called the Farthing Gallery. It is a real gem, full of gorgeous things and wonderfully friendly staff. I confess I have an interest as my work is on sale here, but there is so much else besides and new things arriving all the time. Too many tempting things! We have so much talent in this country it makes me proud to be a part of our creative community.

I hope you have a Merry Christmas... eat, drink and be merry!

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.

Ivy 2
Ivy 2

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.

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