At the gallery, we are lucky enough to get several approaches a week from artists, but very rarely does one strike a chord. I immediately loved the freedom and graceful fluidity of Karen’s still lives, and the layering of the paint and her palette. Karen paints on panel, and I think this smooth less forgiving surface does give her work a different feel. Her background in design filters through into her playful compositions.
Karen Camkin took her Foundation course at Cheltenham Art College, then went on to graduate from Exeter Art College with a BA in Fine Art. After graduating, Karen worked for many years as a designer for companies such as Designers Guild, Camden Graphics and John Lewis. Then in 2010 - 2012, she took herself off to complete her artistic training, taking an MA in Fine Art at Cheltenham Art College. Since then Karen has exhibited widely, and her work has been included in the Discerning Eye, Lynn Painters and Stainers, and has been selected for The Royal West of England Academy’s annual exhibition.
"The inspiration for my landscapes is on my doorstep - I walk every day and I love that the familiar is always so varied and fascinating. A shift in weather, a season change and the colours change so dramatically and the light and the mood of a place is transformed. I’ll come back to the studio with a head full of colours and shapes and make sketches that may become a larger painting.
Flowers and nature have always held a deep fascination for me and can tap into our emotions and trigger our own store house of memories. Painting and the exploration and possibilities with the paint, are as important as the subject. Paintings are built up, scratched into, wiped out and worked into over and over again. They are intended to be intimate portraits, more about discovery than literal – capturing what is moving and powerful about nature."
Karen lives in Gloucestershire and runs painting workshops from her studio. Karen used to paint under the name Karen Bowers.