Featured Artist Karen Stanton

Whimsical and colorful, this collection of mixed media collages by artist Karen Stanton exude happiness. See more of her art by visiting her website.

 

“Badass Baboon with a Badge” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 14” x 18” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Badass Baboon with a Badge” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 14” x 18” x 1.5”

 

My job is making art and books and I’m a lucky duck that I get to do it every day (after I walk my dog, of course!)

 

“Kevin the Dog” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Kevin the Dog” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5”

 

I began my professional life as an architect in the late eighties. During my years studying architecture with Christopher Alexander at Cal Berkeley, we made paintings, tiles and many small artworks in a quest for the “rules” that nature follows when creating its heart-stopping beauty—think ice crystals, seashells and moss on the north side of a tree.

 

“Woman with Flowers” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Paper, 11” x 14” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Woman with Flowers” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Paper, 11” x 14”

 

Chris claimed that we architects couldn’t hope to design a room, building or public plaza if we were unable to create beauty in something as small as a trivet. (I once made a beautiful trivet!)

 

“Buffalos in Bufandas” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 18” x 24” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Buffalos in Bufandas” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 18” x 24” x 1.5”

 

After grad school, years of apprenticeship, licensing exams and private practice, I found that a real-life career as an architect was not suited to my personality nor my life as a mother to young kids. In fact, I hated working with clients. (Oopsie!) The patience and flexibility required to design bathrooms and kitchens for homeowners while taking their calls with Barney playing in the background pushed me over the edge.

 

“Gato con Gafas” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Gato con Gafas” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5”

 

Since my creative energy needed a place to go, I switched my focus to small artworks that did not require a client. It was a hard change to make because of all the investment I had made in my career, but I’m glad I did it.

 

“Antelope in an Ascot” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 16” x 16” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Antelope in an Ascot” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 16” x 16” x 1.5”

 

My first children’s book as author/illustrator came out in 2001, the latest being “Monday, Wednesday and Every Other Weekend” (Feiwel & Friends, 2014). At this time, I also taught writing at City College San Francisco for several years and art in a public elementary school where I became adept at stealing the amazing genius ideas of 6-year-olds while eavesdropping on their conversations for book ideas. Their freshness and purity are inspiring for the adult creative mind.

 

“My Favorite Birds” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Paper, 12” x 16” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“My Favorite Birds” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Paper, 12” x 16”

 

From 2013-2015, we rented out our house in the Bay Area and moved to Spain. I taught Art in English for the American Embassy and we all learned to speak Spanish and traveled to many new countries.

 

“Papillon in Party Hat” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 8” x 10” x 1”

“Papillon in Party Hat” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 8” x 10” x 1”

 

We loved Spain so much we bought a crumbling family apartment building in the old city of Valencia which we are currently renovating. Scraps of old wallpaper and pages from a Spanish seamstress’ manual found in the building have made their way into my collage work.

 

“Upper East Side Dog” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“Upper East Side Dog” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 10” x 10” x 1.5”

 

My artworks are created using found materials like old playbills from Spain, a math book found in a dumpster in Athens, wood scraps from a window maker, as well as typical art media like India ink, acrylic paint, watercolors and image transfers on paper and wood.

 

“The Cat’s in Charge” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 36” x 36” x 2” by artist Karen Stanton. See her portfolio by visiting www.ArtsyShark.com

“The Cat’s in Charge” Mixed Media Collage and Ink on Wood Panel, 36” x 36” x 2”

 

What I learned so far—everything we do, see, feel and experience in this life can be made into art of any size or function. Even the painful stuff is of use to us all. Our lives are works in progress. I’ve come to believe our work as artists is to make our experiences as inspiring, useful and beautiful as we are able.

 

Artist Karen Stanton invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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YES PLEASE!

Comments

  1. Such an amazing colorist.

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