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Layering Fluid Forms: Art by Karen Holland

A mixed media artwork with abstracted, patterned formsFacing Yourself, mixed media

Karen Holland is a painter and mixed media artist currently based in British Columbia. In her practice, the artist primarily works in abstraction, layering fluid forms and textures across a canvas in such a way as to draw the viewer’s eye along a non-linear path, and provoke further exploration.

An abstract painting with a raised, textured squarePassages, mixed media on panel


I like the way that Karen works and how her conceptual processes come to the forefront in her finished paintings. The artist tends to take an intuitive, flow-based approach to building her paintings, utilizing abstraction as a way to get beyond the realm of strictly planned forms and compositions. The resulting works are unpredictable, yet still incorporate a satisfactory amount of pattern and repetition -- while each new canvas may be an adventure in its own right, the viewer is still able to find a comfortable resting place within each image.

The front page of Karen Holland's art


In some of the artist’s series, like Doors and Keys, fragmented sections of recognizable images blend seamlessly with planes of texture and colour, creating a sense that the whole image is hidden within the composition, obscured just beyond view.

An image from the series Doors and Keys with abstracted archwaysVeiled, mixed media on panel

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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