I was a teacher of porcelain art for many years. Painting on porcelain is probably the hardest medium of all and it set me up for my now chosen medium of oils which I started many years ago when I studied at Bendigo TAFE. I have used watercolours and acrylic but I adore the lusciousness and transparency of oils.
In all my years of porcelain painting my main love was flowers which I still enjoy painting today. However I am now more drawn to painting subjects like fruit, succulents and subjects that have a more sculptural form.
Although I am a realist painter, the abstract shapes which appear everywhere in nature continue to excite me. I sometimes find myself enjoying painting the background of a work rather than the main subject, as that is where the abstract shapes are.
Whilst I love and am inspired by the landscape and the bush, they are not subjects that I particularly enjoy painting. And I do relish the comfort of the studio, be it ever so small.
Photography underpins my practice. I crop the image and often paint the macro view. I am not a quick painter so if I am doing a traditional still life, photographing the study gives me time to not rush the work because the flowers are dying or the fruit is rotting!!
I have been fortunate in visiting art galleries in many countries around the world and often find myself crossing the line to get the closest possible view!
I became somewhat disillusioned with the art scene for some years. That and family matters took me away from painting seriously for a period. I have been a volunteer at the Castlemaine Art Museum (working in their excellent library) for several years and trained as a guide last year. Doing that together with becoming connected with other artists through Instagram has given me new inspiration.
I like challenging myself to paint new subjects, my eyes are always searching. I paint for my own enjoyment and if people like what I create that makes it even more fulfilling.
KAREN HOLLAND October 2019