Karen Birchwood

Karen initially trained and worked as a printed textile designer . She gained a BA Hons Degree in Printed Textiles at Middlesex Polytechnic in 1989 and worked for many years in London for one of the leading textile design studios in the UK. Establishing herself as one of their top selling designers and becoming Head designer during her time with the studio. Karen created for both fashion and furnishing fabrics for companies such as Laura Ashley, Miss Selfridge, Monsoon and Fenn Wright & Manson. She also was commissioned to design ceramics and tableware for the home store Habitat. After moving back to her home county of Kent, England in 2004 with her family, Karen was able to follow her long held desire to paint. Her background as a designer has certainly been an influence in how she interprets her subject.

About the work

Her work is a personal response and reflection, a memory of place. Karen works mainly in acrylic and mixed media, on canvas and paper, also using collage which has become intrinsic to her work. Her painting is driven by a love of colour also mark making, texture and abstract form. Karen's work has a strong sense of movement and feeling of space.The main inspiration for Karen's work comes from the landscape, the coast, her garden and home.

 " Its quite difficult to pin down what particular one thing inspires me. It might be a group of trees I spot on the horizon, a colour of a field I pass or crops creating patterns in the land. Its the strong connection to a place that gets under my skin. Holding that image in my head somehow translates onto the canvas. I often start a piece of work without much idea of what it will be suddenly from a sweep of colour, that memory starts to unfold in the painting."

Karen is represented by a number of UK galleries. Her work is owned by collectors nationally and internationally.