About me...

Welcome to my world, as a pastel artist, moving to live in Morocco for most of the year has brought a huge new visual playground into my life and an adventure just waiting to be explored... I am excited where this leads my paintings!!! I am self-taught in the use of pastels; my preferred medium. It´s velvety softness and immediacy of use appeals to me in my interpretation of the countryside; landscapes, mountain-scapes, flora and fauna, and more recently buildings, that are so much part of the culture and history as well as the land. My inspiration comes from the great outdoors, my sheer love of nature and its diverse landscapes in its pure state. I have had several long breaks from painting, each time I am inspired to find my way back to the easel overwhelmed with the breathtaking scenery I find myself immersed in. Ireland and Morocco; two contrasting countries in two different continents, both uniquely beautiful and full of inspiration. The Temperate Zone was my solo exhibition in Ireland where I showed 20 pieces of original work, I am living predominantly in Morocco now and although I find enough free time to dedicate to my art challenging to allocate, I am constantly surrounded by inspiration and art. Morocco has a rich culture of craft, design and painting. Most of my time now is taken with running Lets Go 2 Morocco, which is a website for tours, adventures, trips and for trekking in the mountains and valleys of Morocco.

I grew up in England, obtained a grade "B" O Level in Art and studied at Plymouth College of Art and Design. I moved to Ireland in 1990 where I lived and brought up my 2 children for 20 years. I then moved to Spain for almost 4 years and finally settled in Morocco where I have been since 2013. I spend my summers back in Ireland with my family.

Exhibitions

Everest Touring Exhibition 1992-1993

West Cork Hotel, Skibbereen

Killarney Park Hotel, Killarney

Wellspring Gallery Tralee

Arthive Gallery Cork

 

Works shown at

West Cork Art Centre 1993,96,97,98,99,00,01,02

Half Door Gallery, Killarney 1994

Pier House Glandore,1994,96,98

The Loft, Swords Dublin 1994-5

Bantry Arts & Crafts Exh. 1995,97

Bantry Art Exh 1998

The Bayberry, Union Hall

The United Arts Club, Dublin 2002

The Celtic Ross Hotel

Beara Arts Festival 2002

And various venues around Cork and Kerry Ireland

 

Permanent Exhibitions at

Mary Annes Restaurant, Castletownshend

Cara Gallery and Crafts, Leap

Hayes Bar, Glandore

The Glandore Inn

The Wave Maker, Leap

And various venues around Cork and Kerry Ireland

 

First Solo Exhibition

“The Temperate Zone”

Glebe Gallery, Baltimore 2002

 

Many works in Private collections around the world including Ireland, US, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Spain and Morocco.

What defines us an artist is often only the finished pieces we exhibit, sell, Instagram or show online. However, what brings us to the point of being confident to “air our smalls”(we often feel very exposed when our work is on public view) is multi-faceted and often extensively time-consuming. Creativity is a drug that must be indulged. To neglect that yearning to make or create, the inner drive to produce something, irrespective of whether it is something saleable or if anyone ever sees it, is to deny your born gifts, your inner light, your intuition ignored and crushed. Sometimes it is a burning need when all else is ignored. Inside you feel the glow, the flame as it grows with the satisfaction of just doing. Then, of course, there are the times of mind numbness and of procrastination.

As a child, I was hugely fortunate to have been exposed to a plethora of crafts, largely by my mother, who, like her mother, excelled in many areas of arts, textiles and design as well as pottery in my grandmothers' case. By the time I was 11, I was sewing my own clothes having already learnt and dabbled in a vast range of crafts. By the age of 13, I was making my own school uniform. My father was an interior designer and architect as was my mothers' father. The others were politicians and I have no need of their skills!

  • Printmaking using all manner of items

  • Crochet

  • Knitting

  • Finger knitting on a cotton reel

  • Tatting

  • Bobbin lace

  • Tapestry

  • Rug making

  • Smocking

  • Cross stitch

  • Felt toys

  • Macramé

  • Weaving

  • Quilling

  • Origami

  • Paper crafts

  • Silk painting

  • Batik

  • Calligraphy

  • Darning

  • Charcoal sketching

  • Collage

  • Flower making

  • Dried and preserved flowers

  • Drawing and sketching

  • Irish crochet

  • Machine knitting and pattern making

  • Dressmaking

  • Dress pattern design

  • Picture framing

  • Crafts with wood

  • Jewellery making

  • Homeware

  • Special occasion and bridal wear

  • Patchwork

  • Embroidery

  • Pastel artwork

  • Textile art

  • Painting

  • Papier mache

  • Toymaking

  • Structured couture design and execution

  • Greeting cards

That’s only what I remember. Some I didn’t take to and some I enjoyed later in life when I found a different level of patience. Some have been extremely useful and some have been businesses that fed my family. Often I was self-taught and spent many hours with my head in books learning new things.

The Irish crochet was mostly made to sell in a shop in Kenmare which meant hitchhiking some 70 miles to deliver the finished work and then enjoy some hiking in the Kerry mountains. Incredible fine, delicate work with tiny hooks which I loved doing. Knitting; I made dozens of Irish cable sweaters for a lady and other hand knits for another well-known Irish knitwear business. When my children were small, I bought an old knitting machine from the milkman and taught myself how to use it. I made dozens of sweaters with cartoons and designs I worked out on squared paper for happy clients and fed my children on the proceeds. Whatever I learnt had to be useful and be something I could make a living from working from home, I was driven and determined. As my pastel artwork took form and flourished, I decided to start a picture framing business as it was an expensive outlay each time a painting needed framing. But I wasn’t content with the regular off the shelf mouldings, I wanted to get the raw wood and build up my own designs and then use different techniques and finishes to complement the artwork. That side-lined into making mirrors with doors and mirrors with collaged finishes. Each thing I put my mind to side-lined into other ideas like the elemental collage cards and silk painting. Hundreds of those made their way to craft fairs and shops, collected and framed. Sometimes it was because I disliked wasting leftover things that new ideas were formed. I saved offcuts from silk painting cards in the early 2000s until a new idea came to life in 2020. Textile art using silks took form and the elemental colours were reborn. I have been making clothes since my teens and eventually branched into the special occasion and bridal wear market as there was a need for it in rural Ireland. I was busy and happy. Such a delight to design and create someone’s dream wedding outfit and watch them walk down the aisle. One of my greatest pleasures. Again, I learnt the use of boning to make structured bodices and loved creating delightful one-off pieces.

Sometimes I lay in a state of half-asleep while a myriad of ideas swim around in my head until they form an exact plan of execution although it can often so easily lost before it gets to paper. But in short, a lot of my design process is done before pencil hits paper, all the details, how to do etc are all figured out in a state of deep restfulness. I am very visual in that respect. For me the urge to create is primal, failure to succumb leaves me deflated, empty and restless. Although procrastination does sometimes weigh in like for so many artistic and creative people. Then, I immerse myself in nature and look at life from a different perspective, re-connect, re-evaluate, and come back refreshed and with more conviction and hundreds of photographs. Then I may lose myself in a pastel painting for hours and only emerge when it's considered complete. I am sometimes quite sure I am not in my own body, some other force is at work around me.

 I find that I fluctuate between paper-based artwork and crafts and design processes including dress design, textiles, making bags and I am becoming rather intrigued by handmade shoes. Certain eras in history have a fascination for me regarding the costumes. I do love fabric as a medium and in particular; silk. I find myself drawn to combining a variety of crafts to create a finished idea. As a child, I was told to hand-make all my greetings cards and gifts to give and I learnt how to reuse and repurpose things. All that gave me a basis to be able to create something I could monetise in the tough times, and eventually be able to design and produce just for my own enjoyment as well as fulfilling my inner desire to be doing.

I don´t like putting people in boxes, least of all myself, but I would consider myself an introvert; a recent revelation which made so much sense to me and how I was growing up. Solitary suits me well as a creative person and yet in certain situations I am the leader of the pack… on my terms. I am also an excellent team player. A water tiger in Chinese astrology and of course a Virgo, with Gemini rising on the cusp with Leo. I didn´t know what time I was born, but when I discovered the extraordinary amount of twos of things I own, there was little doubt. Mercury full on.

As a child, I spent many hours out in the fields, walking the lanes where I lived. With a very enquiring mind and a deep interest in all that I see, I learnt the names of so many trees and plants and enjoyed collecting wild mushroom in the early morning. As an adult, I love wandering the tracks and trails as the seasons change, taking notice of all that grows, buzzes and moves. I spend hours photographing the smallest details just to wonder at them. A huge amount of my inspiration comes from what I observe… and as an artist, observation is key. For me, nature is not a place I go to be in, it is part of me, it is like one of my limbs, we are not separate entities, we are intertwined.

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karimapowell62@gmail.com

00212 649 993 257

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© 2018-2020 Karima Rebecca Powell Artist

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