Lincoln County artist Karen Fitzgibbon from Toledo exhibits her work in the Coastal Oregon Visual Artists Showcase through Aug. 31.
Fitzgibbon is a self-taught multi-media artist. “Raised in a creative family with a variety of artistic talents, there was never a time when I don’t remember someone being creative, be it through fiber arts, wood, paint, clay, music, etc. My first recollection of creating stems from kindergarten when I finger-painted a picture with a giraffe eating out of a tree. It won a prize and the opportunity to hang in a local show,” she states.
Learning new techniques with new media is primary to Fitzgibbons artistic development. She says, “To create! To always continue to learn new techniques and various forms of creativity and incorporate them within the fields I now pursue… excites me, and I feel I can only receive increased satisfaction within my art as long as the learning process sustains and stimulates.”
She has worked in a variety of media including abstract painting, fabric art, fiber art, fiber and paper mâché, and jewelry. She added woodworking to her skills in the last year.
Fitzgibbon creates multi-media, three-dimensional figures with polymer clay faces ranging in size from sixinches to over three feet tall.
These figures range from whimsical to spiritual, tribal to exotic. Each figure starts with a polymer head, a face that becomes a personality as she forms the body. She dresses the figure and adds the final details to make the figure a unique character. Each figure is different; most are female with a few male characters along the way. She is an accomplished seamstress creating colorful costumes and accessories for her figures. Garments are hand-crocheted or knitted to fur, clothing is handmade with unusual fabrics An assortment of new, reused and recycled materials are used in her forms depending on the piece.
She also works in slip casting clay that is poured into a mold, dried, low fired and then decorated with a variety of mediums from acrylics to eggshells to cording, etc. Her latest pieces are painted and collaged vessels with ornate lids.
Fitzgibbons has shown her work twice in shows at the Visual Arts Center, It’s Not Just Another Doll Show in 1999 and is currently showing at Sola Luna Gallery in Toledo. She has participated in the Annual Toledo Art Walk.