About Karen

I trained as a fashion designer at Harrow School of Art and then as a Costume Designer at The English National Opera Company. Later I discovered my love of set design, interiors and architecture. I then worked for many years as a Set decorator and Props Stylist on many feature films, commercials and TV productions.

I have been a figurative painter now for some years and love to paint people, fashion, exterior architecture, interesting buildings and flora in landscapes.

I work in oils and have a distinctive style, no matter what I paint. My work is thematic and I am attracted to and revisit time and time again, my favourite subjects, including crowds which feature highly detailed colourful images in the vogue of sophisticated and stylish fashions of the 1950s. I paint people, inspired by people I know, people in the public eye and others from my imagination.

My fashion/stylist background allows me to invent a chorus of colours making patterns all painted with a stylist’s eye for colour and imagery. A fascination with non-uniform informality, that is to say, enticing the viewer at first to be attracted by the repetition of objects (people, trees, buildings) in a scene. But on closer inspection, inviting them to notice and compare discernible difference.

My ‘Crowd People paintings’ are inspired by my fascination with people in groups, their faces, their similarities and their differences. The fashion elements are from my training as a fashion designer.

My other passion/inspiration comes from the interior/exterior design part of my background and experience, where for many years I ‘dressed’ sets for feature films and TV to create the scene for the Director. With my architectural paintings and the crowd people paintings, the common theme is my love of the retro/modernist look and this inspires nearly all of my work.

The attraction to buildings and straight lines, tropical flora, palm trees and swimming pools, Palm Springs and Bauhaus are currently the main theme of my recent work and seem to complement each other when hung together.

But as different as these themes are, they are linked together by my love of patterns and especially colour. I try to create in my art, scenes that vibrate and glow from the surface of the canvas. My experimentation in the recent series of architectural paintings is the incorporation of both strong and neutral pallet that moves the eye through the pictorial space, over mountains, pools, clouds and often the strong shadows cast by the ever-present sun. Straight lines contrast with plants and exotic cacti. Colours are invented and exaggerated to add vibrancy to the whole image.

I have always been aware of the balance in my work between the feminine side expressed as people, fashion and exotic vegetation and the masculine side expressed as buildings, architecture, and straight lines.

Karen Lynn, Oils


07976 919469

©2020 Karen Lynn