Karen Hollingsworth - Artists - Pryor Fine Art

  At heart I am a storyteller. I use the inherent beauty found in well used, everyday objects for my subject matter. These items are adorned with scratches and imperfections that give them a personality and history and set the tone for a    narrative.
  Including animals into my compositions creates another layer to the story. Besides being intriguing and beautiful, I think animals remind us of our most innocent selves.
   In the end, I’m in love with old suitcases, wrinkled paper bags, even the tip of a well worn crayon. I hope the viewer will sense my love for the subjects and find pleasure in my paintings.


I was born in 1955 in St. Louis MO. My family moved often for my father’s work, but we finally
settled in Atlanta GA in 1969. As a child I was very creative. We didn’t have much money so you
had to create your toys. I spent hours drawing. Even as a child I knew I wanted to be an artist,
but as I grew up, I realized that dream wasn’t practical. So I put it aside.
After High School, I began working as an attendant in an institution for the mentally disabled.
That job introduced me to medicine and I went to college and graduated as a nurse in 1980.
When I turned 30 yrs old, I knew it was time for me to get back to art. So I started working
part time as a nurse while I took classes at a local art college.
My first love was portraiture, and I pursued that for 10 years painting many, many portraits
and earning several awards. But in time, I became tired of the constraints of the portrait
business and wanted to explore other subject matters.
I began painting still lifes, and one day while I was moving furniture around my studio to set
up a scene for a new still life, I placed a chair in front of a window and thought, “Now that’s a
painting!” I switched my focus and began painting compositions of chairs and windows. From
there they evolved into paintings of open windows with a variety of scenes beyond them. I called
this series “WindowScapes”. I later added a surreal quality to these paintings by including a
whimsical element such as elephants, giraffes or crows into the scenes. I’ve continued to
explore surrealism in my compositions by combining animals interacting with other species of
animals in helpful ways. This series is called “Shared Reality”.
My most recent work has brought me back to the still life. I’ve been using black backgrounds,
combined with vintage objects and animals. I call this series “Black Magic”. When I add a live
creature to a solitary object, it brings life into that object and creates something new and
completely different. Old objects that people have used become infused with humanity. They
have a life of their own. My favorite objects are paper bags, chairs, cardboard boxes, suitcases,
water spigots, crayons and many more.
I’ve been very fortunate to have found wonderful galleries to sell my paintings and allow me to
support myself as an artist for 20 years. I’ve been married to another artist James Neil
Hollingsworth for 38 years, he shares my passion for art, vegan cooking and cats. We live and
share a studio in Marietta Georgia, right outside Atlanta.

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