Creative Quarantine: Artist Karen Thomas

Starlet | Acrylic, and chalk on canvas | 50 x 50 cm | © Karen Thomas 2020

1. How are you holding up?

As a painter, I’m used to spending significant periods of time alone. The physical constraint was difficult to adapt to but on the whole, I’ve been lucky and able to continue working.

Cover-girl | Acrylic on canvas | 35 x 27 cm | © Karen Thomas 2020

2. Has Covid-19 had an effect on your work? If so, in what way?

Quarantine has been productive for me, I have been restretching old canvases using up all the oddments and pieces of cardboard lying around the studio. Ordering materials online has made me more aware of what I’m using and I’ve been more focussed in general. The art world has moved online so I’m able to keep up with what’s going on. I’ve missed engaging with the public, other artists, and traveling!

Cover girl | Acrylic on canvas | 35 x 2 7 cm | © Karen Thomas

3.   Is there anything you’ve added to your practice that you’d like to keep after this is over?

I’m working on developing my online presence. I’ve just made a new digital catalogue and hope to start virtual studio visits.

Canvas oddment and dog sculpture by Ottmar Hörl, at home | © Karen Thomas 2020

4.    Of the artists you follow, who’s handling this particularly well? 

There have been some brilliant initiatives during quarantine.
@mathewburrowsstudio initiated #artistssupportpledge whereby artists propose work for sale for no more than $200, once they reach $1000 they pledge to but another artists work for the same amount. This has created a phenomenal dynamic worldwide. Chicago’s @kirstenvalentine is a participating artist.
I’ve also been following @Isolationartschool who propose projects, lessons, and insights into artists’ practices for all levels. There’s anything from making paper, portraits, postcard street views, or toilet roll cars. My personal favorites, Susie @susie.calvert and Anton @trendoodla.
Stacie McCormick and Nemo Nonnemacher at @unit1galleryworkshop have been working extremely hard. They have organised daily online conversations with artists and professionals, set up a fundraiser and are currently providing space for graduates deprived of their final shows

In the studio, work in progress | © Karen Thomas 2020

Art on the fridge | Canvas oddments | © Karen Thomas 2020

Karen Thomas (b.1963/UK) is acclaimed for her pop-culture figures and loosely dynamic painting style. While her infamous superhero collections reconstruct well-known characters’ identities with wild expressionism, her postcard collectibles transpose celebrities into small, but utterly enigmatic portraits. In doing so, Karen Thomas has created a distinguished style, recognisable for its thick and vivacious brushstrokes.
She has shown both individually and in group exhibitions at The Other Art Fair(London, Brooklyn, Los Angeles, Chicago) Art Below (London, New Orleans, Los Angeles), Her work has also been included in the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, featured on the culture show and identified by Rebecca Wilson, Chief Curator at Saatchi Art as a ‘must-see’ artist
More recently, she has taken part in Radical Residency IV at Unit 1 Gallery Workshop, London.

Digital Catalogue
Instagram: here and here.