Maker of the Month is upon us! I always get so excited about these posts. Being able to hang out with, cialis usa discount and see artists in their creative spaces is so inspiring and humbling. You guys, viagra sale people are really talented at what they do – especially the Makers that we are so lucky to feature!
Our July Maker is no exception. Karlene Harvey is a Vancouver based artist and all around creative person. She has an Art Show coming up in Vancouver at the Toast Collective that will start July 9th and run till August 8th. These are exciting times for Karlene, and she totally deserves the attention she’s been getting.
She’s an illustrator, artist, and writer with a passion for arts-based publishing; and a 2007 graduate of Emily Carr with a degree in visual arts. I have known Karlene since the high school days and I can remember her being into and apart of the ‘Zine’ community we had in our small town. I thought it was pretty cool then, and I certainly think that what she’s apart of, and doing now is pretty awesome too. She works at a local artist run gallery called Grunt Gallery in Vancouver and to make things even cooler she’s on a roller derby team called ‘Terminal City All-Stars’ which compete’s internationally! Ummm, that’s the coolest.
These pieces are stunning. The tone and detail throughout her current work is so refreshing and calm. The theme is beautiful and intimate – mountainscapes or floating islands, each one diverse in it’s landscape but still part of a cohesive community. I can’t wait to see them all together at her exhibition.
Water-colour, gouache, kitchen tables, good music, cats. What more could you want?
I love the characters she creates. So colourful, so good. Her cat, Edward, loves them too.
I was able to ask Karlene a few questions on what she’s all about:
What started the inspiration for your current work?
I’ve been working on surreal landscapes for a while, a lot of my past drawings and paintings look like sketches in comparison to this current series. I wanted to try something that gave me the opportunity to paint different textures and patterns with a varied colour palette.
A lot of my work focuses on the figurative. When I draw characters or people, I tend to focus on the end result of what I hope it looks like. With the mountainscape series, I really have no idea what it’s going to look like. It’s very intuitive and has a very different process than the other work that I do. It’s pretty nice to change up those expectations, I’ve realized it’s an important thing for me to do.
What made you decide to pursue art as a career? Was there a pivotal moment that you can recall?
I’ve always been involved with the arts and hoped to work in the arts in some capacity. A few years ago, I wanted a change from my current job. I was contemplating moving to Berlin but then a position came up for grunt gallery. I was in Europe when I found out that I got the job. It was a big decision because I was at a cross-roads in terms of my career and where I wanted to live. I’ve been working with grunt gallery for nearly three years and it’s been a really great experience, learning about the ins and outs of artist-run centres and arts programming. Seeing how large scale projects and exhibitions come together has been invaluable. It’s kind of amazing to see how a chat over coffee with an artist or curator can snowball into an expansive project with a number of collaborators. I love being a part of that.
What’s your creative process like? Does it come from routine, or is it spur of the moment?
I experiment a lot. I try not to get too caught up with drafts or sketching. I just start projects and see where they go. Sometimes they turn into something bigger, other times…not so much. As indicated by the stacks, boxes and suitcases of old drawings that I have saved up over the years. I do have a routine but many times, when I find a certain connection with what I’m making that helps inform a more established practice. I try to be okay with ebbs and flows. There are times during the year where I don’t draw at all, and I get really into writing. Or I start writing music. I try to be okay with it, usually I can find some sort of intersection to connect what I’m interested in.
What artists inspire you? Any that you’d love to do a collaboration with?
I’m finding myself more interested in sculptures and installation-based work. It’s an area that I’d like to consider expanding my practice into. I like how artists use space with what they are making and how that reflects on those moving or inhabiting the space the work is in. I am a big fan of Walter Kaheró:ton Scott, it’s motivating for me to see someone working within the vein of comics but also sculptures. I really love the work of Nomi Chi, her recent installation at Emily Carr for her grad show was incredible. I like artists that can amalgamate illustrative and graphic practices into contemporary art.
Right now, I’m trying to think of ways to collaborate with my friend Ayma on sculptures. She’s got an incredible mind for building 3-dimensional objects. So I think together, we could make some interesting stuff.
What’s next for you?
This fall, I’d like to focus on creating sculptures and installation based work. I’ve been thinking about animations lately, too.
I’m also trying to get my act together to apply for a Banff residency, but we’ll see how that goes.
AND, what is your favourite TV show to watch right now!?
I obsessively listen to comedy podcasts and have movies or TV shows playing in the background when I’m working. So right now, I am watching Grace and Frankie. I have always loved Lily Tomlin, she is incredibly funny.
And to make things even better, Karlene is an absolute treat to photograph/hang out with.
This is Charlie the cat. He loves his Momma.
Karlene has also done a ‘Junk Food’ series and it is the best! I purchased her ice cream print and have it hanging up in my kitchen. It’s the best thing we have up in our home. So funny, so cute, and super cool.
Beautiful work from an absolutely beautiful person. It was such a pleasure to step inside Karlene’s world. We were able to see how she works and learn what she’s all about. Like I said earlier, it is a truly humbling experience doing these Maker series. To see the tremendous talent that Karlene has, and the calmness that she embodies about the whole thing is inspiring to say the least. I see BIG things happening for her and I hope that you all check out her work extensively as she has a plethora of amazing pieces to view and read and admire.
If you are in the Vancouver area anytime from July 9th to August 8th, you need to do yourself a favour and stop by the Toast Collective to view her mountainscape series. She will be selling some of them as well, so be prepared to fall in love with…well really, all of them!
and the Hum of a Past Fullness
Exhibition by Karlene Harvey
Opening Reception: Thursday July 9, 2015
Exhibition Dates: July 9 to August 8
Location: The Toast Collective, 648 Kingsway, Vancouver, BC V5T 3K4
Thank you so much, Karlene, for giving Joyelle and I the honour of photographing you in your beautiful home. It was such a pleasure to document such a talented artist, I hope this post does your work the justice it deserves!
Check out our video of the day spent with her, and make sure to check out Karlene’s work, people!
Cori Anne & Joyelle