Karen Fitzpatrick BA(Hons)
I am a contemporary abstract artist and landscape has been my inspiration since growing up in South Wales. After living in Gloucestershire for 10 years, I recently relocated back to Wales where I am now enjoying exploring new landscapes along the Carmarthenshire coastline. Coastal landscapes are a whole new inspiration for me, and I am fascinated by how much the landscape changes each day and with every tide. I love revisiting the same stretch of coastline never quite knowing what I am going to find there. I feel as though each time I walk along the coast I am viewing it with different eyes, and this really excites me. I feel as though I consume the natural energy of the coastline, I am inspired by the way the light dances on the surface of the water, I am fascinated by the ever-abundant array of rocks that are so full of texture and pattern, but most of all I am influenced by the sheer open space and the sense of calm and relaxation it brings me. All of this I try to capture in my paintings, and I am enjoying the process of learning a new creative language to express this dynamic ever-changing landscape.
I always begin by sketching and taking photographs out in the landscape, but rather than sketch what I see in front of me I try to soak up the essence of a place and capture my emotional response. This can be influenced by the scents, the sounds, the elements or just simply by my sense of self whilst out in the landscape. Once back in my studio I begin with my emotional memory and then let the painting develop from within, using my plein air sketches as reference. Colour, marks and texture are all important to me. I enjoy the journey of painting and my initial marks are loose, intuitive, and spontaneous. I then use acrylic paint, collage, inks, and pastels, working back into the painting layering colours and often stripping back areas to reveal hidden glimpses from beneath until I reach that moment where I feel at peace with the painting, where I have achieved a sense of my initial emotional response.
I am inspired by nature. I connect with nature in a way that excites me. I try to convey this in my paintings. I often feel a spiritual connection with nature that draws me in and compels me to paint. I see and feel beauty in nature all around me. To be true to my authentic self I feel a need to be creative and I am propelled by my desire to see how far I can take my practice. I am inspired by artists such as Howard Hodgkin, the Abstract Expressionists, David Mankin and Neil Canning for their bold use of mark making and colour. My art is within me, I am the only person who can create my art. This excites me.
I graduated from Coventry University in 1998 with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art. From there I worked at The Sherman Theatre, Cardiff where I was involved in set design and construction. After leaving the theatre I became a gallery assistant, then gallery manager, of an independently run art gallery called Snickerdoodles. As well as the day to day running of the gallery, I facilitated art workshops for children. I took a break from painting for a while whilst I had a family and ran my own childcare business but my passion for art, and desire to create always remained. In early 2020 I made the decision to become a professional artist. I became part of The Pop Up Art Shop in Tewkesbury, and then later in 2020 a member of artForce collective. Since moving to Carmarthenshire I have qualified as a Holistic Creative therapist and am currently working facilitating creative wellbeing workshops. I am also a member artist at Y Ty Celf – The Art House in Llanelli.
Unwritten - Mixed Media on cradled panel
Unbound - Mixed Media on cradled panel
Unconfined - Mixed Media on cradled panel
Untold - Mixed Media on cradled panel