Karen Holland - Artist



Karen Holland


Artistic activity was always encouraged and ardently supported by my parents - whether drawing, painting, singing or playing an instrument.  My first mentor outside our family was a local professional artist, Claudia Lanouette, whose home was open to anyone who wanted to paint or draw, and receive one-on-one feedback.  She tutored us individually, and encouraged us to participate in art shows at fairs, and take classes given by a range of artists at the Neepawa Festival of the Arts each summer. 


University years offered exposure to more art and artists.  Travel to galleries and museums in Ontario, British Columbia and many European cities broadened my understanding of the wide range of artistic movements and styles.  Set Design, Set Painting and Promotional Art for the University Drama Club for more than 10 years created an opportunity to develop my skills.


Though I studied Art Education, the opportunity to teach arose in the fields of High School English and Drama.  My painting skills were utilized in Stagecraft and I seized the opportunity to run Art workshops for our three-day Incentive Camps, including silk painting and fabric dying.  Teaching and mentoring young people is very fulfilling, but time consuming.  As a result, it has taken me many years to get back into an Art classroom as a student, but within the past three years, I have thrown myself into several classes at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design. 


Broadening the range of materials used in my work, embracing more of a mixed-media approach, has opened more doors of expression for me.  Recently, I have seized the opportunity to explore abstract expression.  Inspiration for the imagery in my work often comes from the natural world, sometimes as it appears juxtaposed with man-made structures.  A search for light through the dark is a major focus for me; darkness reveals a depth of feeling, light illuminates connections of all kinds that enrich our lives.  


Connections with other artists have enriched my life immeasurably; sharing explorations of various types of artistic expression infuses life with purpose, and heightens awareness and appreciation of all that surrounds us.  I am fortunate in choice of studio space; Parker Street Studios hosts a vibrant creative culture which is infectious.


Since moving to the coast in the early ‘90s, I have exhibited work in BC and internationally, both in acrylics and silk painting, and have been commissioned to create silk and acrylic paintings.


Maintaining a sense of spontaneity and fluidity allows me to tap into a subconscious energy that translates into imagery evocative of experiences we all share.

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