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The artist, Karen Spencer, with a delicious kebab!

The artist, Karen Spencer, with a delicious kebab!

Artist Statement

Thanks for taking time to see my work. Texture and bright colors are my hallmarks. People ask me what my paintings are made of. Generally I use a mixture of papers, pigments, metallic elements and at times, found objects.

I don't start out with anything particular in mind. Instead, I use an open-ended process of experimentation with a variety of materials to see what 'happy accidents' might occur. I let the emerging forms lead me until, at some point, I realize the piece is finished.

Working this way keeps me on my toes and just plain makes me happy! I hope you find my work interesting and that it makes you happy too.


I am a multi-media artist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. I have exhibited and sold my paintings, drawings, and sculpture throughout the Southeast for several decades.

Beginning in the 1970’s, I taught painting and drawing to children, adolescents and adults for years. As a registered Art Therapist, I have worked with individuals of all ages in academic and therapeutic settings for more than twenty years in Birmingham, Alabama, Shady Grove, Maryland, Georgetown and Washington DC, Durham and Greensboro, North Carolina.

My artistic and therapeutic endeavors over the years have taught me that we are all creative when we enter this world. Many people maintain and utilize this powerful tool, others have lost this important connection. It's important to me to encourage people to reconnect with their creativity. I have seen how developing creative thought processes enhances the ability to deal with life's challenges.

Having facilitated numerous Art Therapy/Creative Expressive workshops I've encouraged people to discover and engage their creativity and develop their creative-expressive communication skills. I know that making art builds self-confidence and flexibility. These attributes contribute to better problem-solving and coping skills in all areas of living.

I hope you will take a bit of time to take a look at the artwork I've posted here. My two-dimensional art covers a wide range of subject matter, technique and media. My representational work often depicts people and environments I have seen while traveling in Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. My abstract work is often bright and textural. For these pieces I use a variety of handmade and colorful papers as well as various painting and drawing materials. I love to combine collage and painting around surrealistic themes. My three-dimensional work is varied and whimsical. My "Guides and Messengers" series includes a number of small wooden and found-object totems. Each one-of-a-kind creature is named for a particular quality it represents. I have just started making people out of bowling pins. My "Moonstones" are rocks with whimsical faces. Finally, I create free-form baskets out of muscadine and wisteria vines.

The object isn’t to make art, it’s to be in that wonderful state which makes art inevitable.
— Robert Henri

Karen's work can be seen in Greensboro at Elements Gallery, 526 South Elm, at The Creative Center, 900 Sixteenth Street, where she has her working studio and on Facebook at Karen Spencer Fine Art.