Please click on thumbnails to see the full art work.
Karen has demonstrated mark making with the Committed to Cloth Virtual Studio at Festival of Quilts for the past three years. Prior to painting on fabric, she was a felt maker and taught workshops privately and to groups and guilds on nuno scarves, felted pictures and dyeing fibres. Alongside these, she has given talks to groups and guilds. Karen’s other passion is crochet and she runs two Crochet & Chatter groups and teaches privately.
I love the freedom of movement and sweeping lines, which I can paint freehand directly onto fabric using simple tools, like squeezy bottles and manky brushes. I paint with thickened dyes and the process involves many stages, including soda soaking the fabric for fixing the dye. Once I’ve painted my first layer of colour, the fabric is rolled in plastic and left to batch in a warm place for a week. I then wash out the excess dye and soda soak it in readiness for the next layer of colour, a process I may do four or five times. My fabrics are my sketchbook and I have very many on the go at any one time, which allows me the joy of following my curiosity and learning from happy mistakes.
I’m very fond of using soy wax on my work, applying it with an old brush. This resist protects lighter areas from further dyeing but retains a painterly quality. I’m also able to add colour in a natural way by mono printing directly onto the fabric.
I get great pleasure from using simple tools on fabric to create marks which I’m unable to achieve with paint on canvas. I also have a passion for colour and I hope my work conveys my love for what I do.