Karen Curry in Palm Desert studio Feb 14

Artistic Statement ‘A Colourful Life’

I am entranced by colour, shape, texture, movement and emotion. I have been all my life. A beautiful colour can bring me to a full halt in the middle of the street. I love acrylic because it allows me to be both spontaneous and messy. I love oil because it is slow and rich and sensual. I love plaster and wax and ink and found objects and painting with sticks. I don’t always want to be in control of the medium….surprises are exciting.

 When I paint it always happens in the same way. It starts with feeling and thinking about what I want to happen that day – whether it is landscape, still life, figurative or abstract. Often, during the week I have noticed a colour or shape or vignette that attracts me and that is it- the seed is planted. To me painting is passion captured on canvas.

My work would probably be termed contemporary impressionism. I like to take a realistic subject and give it a twist. People often say that my paintings have an aged quality and it is true – I am charmed by the patina of old objects. Whether working in my studio in Palm Desert or in Vancouver music immediately transports me but once I have begun nothing really matters except the painting.

When I paint a still life I want it to look slightly kinetic as though it might slide off the canvas – not really still at all. With a landscape I want to enter the canvas, continue right over the horizon and celebrate the immensity of nature. My figure paintings are emotional even when I would rather not get involved – they seem to arrive on the canvas unassisted. The abstracts are based purely on passion but with all realistic constraints removed.

My family has been riddled with artists in one form or another for generations. I am an artist, teacher, sailor, mother and wife but the common thread that has run through all aspects of my life is a love of art. I am fortunate to have a supportive husband whose mother was an artist, and two sons who seem to appreciate my work. We all need someone to believe in us.



 B.A. Fine Art, B.Ed. Art Education, M.A. Education

  • Born into incurably creative family in Toronto, Ontario – all members functioning only on the right side of the brain
  • Age 9 – received award for painting ‘Spanish Dancer’ – still love Mexico
  • Off to University of Western Ontario for a B.A .in Fine Art
  • My real education – wandering around the South Pacific and the Mediterranean on sailboats and marrying my left – brained husband in New Zealand
  • Degree in Art Education at the University of British Columbia
  • Vancouver, British Columbia – worked as a secondary school art educator, Education Consultant, Head Teacher in school for delinquents …and also produced my two sons
  • Back to school – received a Master’s Degree in Education at the University of British Columbia
  • Off to sail the world again for one year with our two sons Will and Ben, aboard our beloved sailboat ‘Karina 1’. Vancouver, Mexico, Hawaii and back – on board home schooling for the boys and painting on the beach for mom
  • Back in Vancouver – launched Karen Curry Design which allowed me to indulge in my passion for another art form – interior design.
  • Started spending winters in PalmDesert – the light is perfect, and artistry abounds. Picked up the paint brush again and have been unable to stop.
  • Now, as well as producing my own work at my studios in Palm Desert and Vancouver, I am also back in the art education world and privileged to be teaching in Spain, France, Palm Desert and Vancouver.  Teaching feeds my painting and my soul and keeps me thinking about new directions.  Painting, exploring and learning – it is indeed ‘A Colourful Life’.



Coachella Historical Society Group Show 2012

Coachella Historical Society Group Show 2013

Harmony Arts Studio Show, 2013, West Vancouver

Harmony Arts Juried Show 2013, West Vancouver

Buckland Southerst Gallery Exhibit 2014, West Vancouver

Harmony Arts Studio Show 2014, West Vancouver

University of California Riverside – ‘Let’s Face It’ Exhibit 2014

Cambria Gallery Exhibit 2015, Palm Desert

Hollyburn Country Club Solo Show 2015

University of California Exhibit – ‘Artistic Expressions of the Coachella Valley’ 2016, Palm Desert

University of California Exhibit – ‘Artistic Expressions of the Coachella Valley’ 2017, Palm Desert

Pottery Barn Solo Show ‘Good Vibrations’ 2017, Palm Desert

La Quinta Museum ‘Tell Me a Story – Women in the Arts’ Exhibit 2016 to 2017 La Quinta, California