Turning a trigger into a triumph

The Mask is Behind Me — Self Portrait, Karen Espig, oil on canvas, 15 x 30 inches

In my 20+ years of painting, I have completed a few works that I consider pivotal. They either reveal a technical or stylistic evolution in my work; or they portray a defining moment or revelation.

One such work is a self-portrait, The Mask is Behind Me, which I completed in early 2020. It is part of the series of works on the theme of healing from trauma. (At the time, I didn’t know it would be a series.)

Before I enter my studio, I always check in on my state of mind. I need…


Downsizing for my international move.

Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash

I am preparing for my move from Canada to Europe. I will be vacating my apartment to temporary lodgings on January 1 until my flight out, which I anticipate will be in March. I am very excited about the adventure ahead.

My plan is to have everything I need in a large suitcase, a carry-on backpack, and a purse. Since I will also be transporting Vincent, my cat, in a carrier, and my guitar in a case, my hands will be more than full as I travel. …


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Autumn Sessions — Original Artwork by Karen Espig

Choosing to be a professional artist has been a great joy to me. I work every day on my art, whether that means actual studio time (the best part), searching out and creating passive income streams so I can have more studio time, sussing out appropriate exhibition and competition opportunities, or doing the bookkeeping. There are many hats that need wearing.

Just like all creatives, I have days where I get discouraged and worn out. …


How did this happen?

Photo credit: Karen Espig

Over the next several months, I will be downsizing to a couple of suitcases, putting my finished paintings and portfolios in storage, and quitting my comfortable day job — setting the stage for European travel that begins in the new year with no anticipated return date. I cannot wait!

I will be writing, drawing, and painting about whatever happens next; speaking to my art-practice, travel adventures, joys, mishaps, and how my cat Vincent is doing with all this (assuming he forgives me for the long flight in cargo). …

Karen Espig

I am a contemporary figure painter, working primarily in oils. Follow my art and travel journey. karenespig.com

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