Artist Info & C.V. – Karen Sloan
She attended faux finishing & life drawing courses at the Toronto School of Art, along with several watercolour classes with artist, Marsha Stonehouse.
Also a floral designer and horticulturist, Karen earned her General Plantsman Certificate from the University of Guelph, a certificate for Ikebana (Japanese floral design), from Seneca College, and was employed as horticultural assistant at the Toronto Botanical Garden.
Karen was a participating artist member on the Haliburton County Studio Tour for 6 years, from 2006 – 2011, a past member of the Toronto Arts and Letters Club, the Cedar Ridge Creative Centre, and a member of the Haliburton Arts Council, and the Minden & District Horticultural Society.
Certain artists have left their respective influence on Karen. Notables are, Picasso, Matisse, Georgia O’Keeffe, Wilfredo Lam, and the Group of Seven. Music, especially Jazz is likely the largest influence for Karen’s work.
As an illustrator, Karen is surely influenced by the art of Theodore Geisel, Beatrix Potter, Charles Schultz, Eric Carle, Quentin Blake, Jessie Willcox Smith, Jo Empson, Don Martin, and Maurice Sendak, just to name a few!
Collections: Having sold more than 800 paintings to date, including one to iconic singer Prince, Karen’s paintings & sculptures are in private and corporate collections across Canada. Internationally, her work is located across the USA, the UK, Switzerland, Australia, Holland, Mexico, South Africa and the Bahamas.
Workshops: Karen has held workshops and taught courses for both adults and children in Toronto, Haliburton County and beyond. This includes art related, floral design and gardening workshops at community centres in and around the Greater Toronto Area
To a large degree, popular culture and the ways we humans attempt to enhance and decorate our living spaces and our environments, is a great source of fodder for any artist.
Kitsch and camp are appealing subject matter. Thankfully, (or not, depending on your opinion), my paintings won’t likely match anyone’s living room decor because really, in my humble opinion, that’s not what art is all about.
Recurring themes in my work have included empty chairs, wonky interior themes, and mostly paintings without people. Clients who have purchased these see them as “optimistic paintings”; true for the most part, however others feel that they are metaphors with an edgy sense of apprehension. It’s as if something has happened, is about to happen, and it’s a bit like the calm before the storm. This is a real juxtaposition that I quite enjoy.
On the flip side, music is my biggest inspiration. I’m truly moved and affected by the marvellous abstract sounds of Jazz, Blues and Swing, and particularly from the sound of my very favourite band, Steely Dan, whom I unabashedly adore!
With this direction in mind, I’ve been inclined to follow this musical lead which means translating imagery from the music I’m listening to and applying it to canvas. I’ve always believed each of the arts are connected in some way, and my connection, for the time being could be characterized as visually induced sound, or vice versa!
In any case, my ultimate goal is to create colourful pictures with movement. I’m also keen to illustrate children’s books, and as always, look forward to following where the muse leads.