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About : Karen Macwhinnie - Artist based in St Neots, Cambridgeshire

A little bit about me

Art and Creativity have always played a significant part in my life. I suppose I only fully realised the limitless nature of imagination and creativity once I was in my 20's. Singing was my first love and I sang semi-pro with friends and other musicians for many years. I then began writing short plays and comedy sketches, performing them in Cambridge and Edinburgh.

Painting has been part of my life now for many years. I developed this need to paint during a 3 year Arts/Therapy course which led to a career change. I work as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor using 7 different art forms. My interest and passion for art is something that I can't ignore, can't not pursue; it's part of me.

I am drawn to water, whether it be random puddles or the enormity and complexity of the sea. Strong memories linger of times spent on visits and family holidays to Scottish shores, Norfolk and Cornwall. I love the textures and layers of materials, often drawn to rusts and patinas. A stone or a piece of weathered wood can form the basis of many pieces of work.

The foundations and themes of the paintings and images I create connect to my childhood and my personal ongoing process of discovery and change. Ships, boats, kettles and cups are metaphors representing; journeys, uncertainty,transformation, vessels of holding, storage and containment. These elements are integral to my work - the therapeutic process and the therapeutic relationship.

My work is grounded and rooted in nature, but also contains elements and symbols of fantasy and the ethereal. I use acrylic and oil, pastels, inks and rubber stamping/collage papers and textiles. I work on canvas, boards and paper. I tend to work intuitively and paintings evolve often with many layers under the final, finished piece which feels "right".

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be.”

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