The Art of Karen Nicols

One result of producing this blog is that I have spent much more time reading blogs written by other people. Finding blogs which have something to say to you can sometimes seem like looking for a needle in a haystack, there is just so much stuff on the web. When you do discover things you feel in tune with it is very rewarding. A lot of things you read are just great fun but others can give you a whole new outlook on a subject or person. This happened to me recently when I discovered a couple of posts that transformed how I saw an artist.

The post entitled More Stitchery on Mage and Raven’s blog and another on Lovely Textiles led me to look closely at the work of Karen Nicol and completely reassess her art. To the extent that I was aware of Karen Nicol at all, it was as someone who made decorated clothing and accessories which involved a sense of humor I did not connect with. I have a fear that I may even have dismissed them as “lightweight.”  I now realize that I had never taken the time to really look at and appreciate her work before.
SwanKaren’s current fine art work is based on images of animals and I have to say that they strike me as extremely potent, powerful images.
BullFrank Auerbach defined art as creating images that don’t bleed into other images and the best of Nicol’s animals stand up to this test. Her images of monkeys in particular, have seared themselves into my brain. In the end this post is just a reminder that you should really look at things before you dismiss them. I suggest that you take a few minutes to check out these nice blogs and maybe take a look at Karen Nicol’s own website.
"Blossom"Karen seems very busy right now with a solo show in New York in November followed by an exhibition of her monkey images at the Rebecca Hossack Gallery in London next March. She has a new book entitled Embellished- New Vintage, published by A&C Black.

(All images copyright Karen Nicols)


2 thoughts on “The Art of Karen Nicols

  1. Thank you for calling attention to Karen’s work. I shall certainly look for more information.

    I opened Mage and Raven’s blog and discovered that we share more than what they describe as a “mini obsession” with embroidery… they also like Maurice Sendak.

    Here is the comment I sent to them:

    What a wonderful surprise to stumble across your blog by following links backwards from a reference in Wai-Yuk Kennedy’s blog to-day.

    When Sendak died I did a very long blog with multiple links. The man was a genius!
    You can read it here:

    The date of my blog was May 9 2012.

    I will be back!

  2. You are so right about the tendency to dismiss some work of others as we rapidly scan all of the blogs that come within our cyber-orbit. I’m glad you revisited this person, her work is excellent. I’ve been thinking that the answer for me is to take a week off posting every now and again in order to explore in more depth the postings of bloggers in my personal sphere – I know I have missed so much of value in my haste to try to respond to everyone…

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