My primary interest is in producing images in acrylic and mixed media, inspired by the outdoors; landscape and elements. Using sketches from location I construct an image using colour, texture and words which represent my emotional response to time and place. I love the process of working with the materials, making marks and seeing how materials react with each other. Repeated journeys; walking; cycling; running and climbing form the basis of the images which can be familiar but are unique when captured in a particular time-frame; change of light; weather; sound; temperature. The place where we live, and our sense of place in it, is unique. Our shared experiences and the stories we are told, and tell, evolve over generations like the changing landscape. Some text, found object or other reference in the body of the painting can stir a response in someone, but it will be their own unique sense of place. What I find interesting is that our joint love of the landscape, our connection with the land, with our fellow humans, compels us to see similarities and enjoy a sense of belonging. More than ever now with our planet in crisis we need to come together as families, communities and countries to compel governments to take brave steps and allow integrity to win over greed.
Karen Monaghan graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art with a BA Hons degree and completed a year of post graduate study. She then lived overseas for 12 years where she continued to work from her studio and raise a family. She worked with young people in the community and used her studio space to curate exhibitions of their work.
Returning to the West coast of Scotland in 1998 she painted from her studio and exhibited in galleries across the country. She taught for 10 years in a residential school and later worked with vulnerable and troubled young people, using creative solutions to build confidence and find a sense of place. . Now living and working in East Lothian she paints from her studio working on images inspired by the landscape and the effects of climate change.
With a keen interest in figurative work she documents daily family life in sketches and paints portraits, enjoying the biographical feel of the passage of time and the historical connection of the generations