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Karen Van Hoy
Fabrics are a joy to me. They touch us and touch our lives every day, comforting us and whispering wonderful stories.
They speak of our past, our present, and what things we value.
If I were a painter instead of a fiber artist, my life would be simpler and my living room tidier.
When a painter runs out of a tube of a particular color, they merely buy another. I find that being a fiber artist
is fabulously more complicated and challenging, as there is no end to the variety of colors, patterns,
textures and methods in which fabrics are decorated.
My work is improvisational – all work is intuitive and I rarely work from sketches.
When working on a piece I let the fabric speak to me and dictate how the piece will unfold.
Believing that there are no such thing as accidents in my life, I started living that philosophy in regards to my art.
I found it gave me a freedom and confidence beyond what I’d ever experienced.
Finding things other people put into landfills and re-using them in my art is important to me;
as a commitment to the Earth my new work is made from at least 75% re-used materials.
Doing so is more difficult and time consuming, but it’s quite satisfying to see pieces that had other lives resurrected in new art.
I gained knowledge about Japanese textiles while living and working in Japan for 4 years.
After relocating to the Bay area, I created wearable art and high-end cushions from antique textiles
from my studio in Oakland before moving on to wall art. Currently I run
Crow Magic Studio from my home, am an artist’s rep, and am the director of a large non-profit gallery in SW Portland.