It’s been a while since I’ve squeezed paint out of a tube and felt the fine paint brush bristles. Painting is one of my favourite media to work with, mostly because I like the mess. My hands no longer hands, but splattered works of art. This is the feeling I craved when looking at Karen’s COVID inspired paintings.
Karen Wynne Mackay is an abstract/contemporary painter and calligrapher who is influenced by nature, jazz/blues music, writing and most importantly life.
The following is her response to what her inspiration has been during quarantine: “The easy answer would be COVID but it is so much more than that – the world has changed in what seems like an instant. We adapted, we learned, we cried, we laughed, there were moments of fear as well as immense loneliness for us all. We were put in a surreal time that is not finished yet. Starting to come back together has affected family and friendships, fellow workers, neighbours and strangers.
We couldn’t visit family, see friends, show our art, paint with fellow artists or teach. Some of us have realized that we are not extroverts and others have found out that they are not introverts. So much confusion – even the experts don’t know. Who are the experts? A growing respect for cashiers, nurses, all health care workers, fire/police workers, all emergency personnel. Deep shock over the loss of our elderly and the way they were being cared for.
Socially, we need each other and our circles became quite small, for some this was a nightmare for others a chance to reconnect/slow down and take stock. Some are grateful, some don’t believe it was as bad as was told to them. So much confusion, so much love and pain and then a “new” phase. This is just beginning… I am waiting…”