This week’s featured artist is Karen Hollingsworth, a very talented oil painter from Atlanta, Georgia.
I featured her husband’s artwork a few months ago, and at the time made a mental note to review her paintings too. Today seemed like the right time—after working all weekend on a project for a client, I needed to visually gear down.
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Many of Karen’s paintings are perfect for that. Her roomscapes and windowscapes seem layered with peacefulness, usually composed from an almost empty room, a few chairs or a table, and softly curtained windows.
Often when I write about painters that I like, I mention the bold color or expressive brushwork—but not today. Karen’s paintings are different. While there’s still a lot going on in her paintings, that’s not what you’ll notice at first.
Instead the overall sense is one of open space and beautiful lighting, with objects so delicately painted that you can almost feel the different weights of cloth, or imagine the smooth dark wood of the chair beneath your fingers.
In The Movement of the Room, Karen’s created that same space and light again, but with additional subtle touches of color that really stand out.
There are deep reds in the shadows of the bag and a range of soft blues in the jacket, all highlighted by a sheen of almost pure white light streaming in through the open window.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the beautiful compositions in each of these paintings as well. The sense of peacefulness I get from them is probably because of the many parallel lines and visually “open” areas in her work.
Notice the careful aligning of the edges of the windows with the border of the painting, as well as the use of molding, and even the crossbars on the chair—each line echoes another, making the entire composition stable and balanced.
And as natural as her art seems, each painting was fully envisioned before her brush ever touched canvas.
Finally, in Plenty to Share, Karen adds an ocean breeze, distant waves, and a plate of pears on a table set for two.
Even the fluttering drapes (painted gorgeously, I might add) are calm and serene in this painting, floating, almost motionless, rather than flapping.
Karen Hollingsworth also paints portraits and still lifes, but by far her roomscapes are the most enjoyable for me. To view more of her work (which I highly suggest) take a moment and visit her website.
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