Location The Velvet Easel Gallery
298 Portobello High Street
EH15 2AS Telephone 07813916684 Opening Hours

Mon – 10 – 5pm
Thu – 10 – 5pm
Fri – 10 – 5pm
Sat – 10 – 5pm
Sun – 12 – 5pm

Home / Artist / Karen Thomas

Artist - Karen Thomas

Available in the Gallery

I am inspired by nature and the sea in particular; although abstract, my work is very much a reflection of the rhythms and patterns of nature. I walk my dogs through Borders fields, along harbour walls, and on the beautiful beaches of North Northumberland and Berwickshire every day. Back in the studio, I can still feel the sensations of the wind and the rain and the constant rolling of the waves. I appropriate maps from my husband’s collection and often read them like novels, before stealing their symbols and secrets.

I am fascinated by man’s attempts to impose order on the landscape, but for me the excitement arises where time, weather, plants or animals disrupt or bury the orderly. My years as a practising counsellor have taught me that we seek order and familiarity in life to the extent that to break even with harmful patterns of behaviour feels dangerous and impossible; the prospect of finding a new pattern can be alien and unsettling. I seek to reflect this in my work – when a painting works well, it is because I have buried layers of regularity or broken the rhythm to find the tension.

I often begin with collage, but just as often end with it. I build layers of paint, oil, graphite, charcoal – often grabbing anything to hand as the work evolves. I love the dialogue between colours, and the constant ‘push and pull’ to find balance and equanimity – if only in order to subvert it. There is a lengthy process of addition and subtraction: as often as new layers are added, they are scraped or rubbed away to reveal traces of the old, just as we stumble upon old settlements or traces of industry in a landscape. I always begin a work with a plan, but rarely does the journey end at the expected destination.

Much of my recent work has been inspired by places often regarded as ’bleak’, but which are in reality rich in wildlife and archaeology. In particular, the vast expansive skies and wild beauty of Orkney with its constantly-unfolding prehistory continue to inspire and feed the imagination.

Available Work

Quayside - £230 - 33cm by 33cm - Sold

This Year's Festival - £230 - 33cm by 33cm

Coastal Walk - £230 - 33cm by 33cm

Wind Change - £230 - 33cm by 33cm - Sold

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