Karen Stamper

Growing up on the east coast of Yorkshire as a happy beachcomber, I was attracted to the faded painted wood, scraps of gaudy plastic, brightly coloured fishing floats and nets: all sun dried, sand blasted, salted and weathered. Later I headed south until I came to bright blue skies, long skinny palm trees and buildings glowing in the Mediterranean sun. It was here that I felt at home.

I draw, collage and paint. My work celebrates the worn surfaces and structures of the urban; coastal shoreline, harbours, town allotments. I want to capture the essence of a subject, the and the sense of human presence, echoing the passing of time, Increasingly there is a strong abstract element but still with recognisable elements, especially in my new flower explorations.

I begin in a spontaneous way with mark making and cut shapes that relate to my subject.These ideas are taken from observation, my sketchbooks and photographs. Many hours are spent deliberating over arrangements of line, papers, layers, edges, surfaces. As the pieces begin to link in an interesting way a sense of unity and design develops, it is liberating and leads me in exciting new directions.

I am an artist and traveller. I am drawn to the worn and weathered: town allotments and old boatyards. To new countries, the colours and the light of the Mediterranean. Life is a collection of experiences; I need to draw, collect, layer and absorb the places I visit until they are embedded in my artwork and in me. The visual energy of composition, colour and surface feed my soul.

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