Karima Rebecca Powell
What defines us as an artist is often only the finished pieces we exhibit, sell, Instagram or show online. However, what brings us to the point of being confident to “air our smalls”( we often feel very exposed when our work is on public view) is multi-faceted and often extensively time consuming. Creativity is a drug that must be indulged. To neglect that yearning to make or create, the inner drive to produce something, irrespective of whether it is something saleable or if anyone ever sees it, is to deny your born gifts, your inner light, your intuition ignored and crushed. Sometimes it is a burning need when all else is ignored. Inside you feel the glow, the flame as it grows with the satisfaction of just doing. Then of course there are the times of mind numbness and of procrastination.
Welcome to my world, I am self-taught in the use of soft pastels; my preferred medium. It´s velvety softness and immediacy of use appeals to me in my interpretation of the countryside; landscapes, mountain-scapes, flora and fauna, and more recently buildings that are so much part of the culture and history as well as the land. My inspiration comes from the great outdoors, my sheer love of nature and its diverse landscapes in its pure state. I have had several long breaks from painting, each time I was inspired to find my way back to the easel overwhelmed with the breathtaking scenery I find myself immersed in. Ireland and Morocco; two contrasting countries in two different continents, both uniquely beautiful and full of inspiration.
As a child, I spent many hours out in the fields, walking the lanes where I lived. With a very enquiring mind and a deep interest in all that I see, I learnt the names of so many trees and plants and enjoyed collecting wild mushrooms in the early morning. As an adult, I love wandering the tracks and trails as the seasons change, taking notice of all that grows, buzzes and moves. I spend hours photographing the smallest details just to wonder at them. A huge amount of my inspiration comes from what I observe… and as an artist, observation is key.
I grew up in England, obtained a grade “B” O Level in Art and studied at Plymouth College of Art and Design. I moved to Ireland in 1990 where I lived and brought up my 2 children for 20 years. The Temperate Zone was my first solo exhibition in Ireland where I showed 20 pieces of original work.
I find that I fluctuate between paper based artwork and crafts and design processes including dress design, textiles, making bags and I am becoming rather intrigued by handmade shoes. Certain eras in history have a fascination for me regarding the costumes. I do love fabric as a medium and in particular; silk. I find myself drawn to combining a variety of crafts to create a finished idea.
As a child I was encouraged to hand make all my greetings cards and gifts to give and I learnt how to reuse and repurpose things. All that gave me a basis to be able to create something I could monetise in the tough times, and eventually be able to design and produce just for my own enjoyment as well as fulfilling my inner desire to be doing.
Sometimes I lay in a state of half asleep while a myriad of ideas swim around in my head until they form an exact plan of execution although it can often so easily lost before it gets to paper. But in short, a lot of my design process is done before pencil hits paper, all the details, how to do etc are often figured out in a state of deep restfulness. I am very visual in that respect.
For me the urge to create is primal, failure to succumb leaves me deflated, empty and restless. Although procrastination does sometimes weigh in like for so many artistic and creative people. Then, I will go and immerse myself in nature and look at life from a different perspective, re-connect, re-evaluate, and come back refreshed and with more conviction and hundreds of photographs. Then I may lose myself in a pastel painting for hours and only emerge when it’s considered completed. I am sometimes quite sure I am not in my own body, some other force is at work around me.
As an introvert, I am quite happy in my own world and yet, in the right company, I will converse for hours on interesting topics. As an empath, I try to impart what I feel in my work, especially equine artwork. I like to take my own reference images as it gives me the opportunity to connect with the animal especially with the eyes.
As an artist, designer, foodie and creative being, much of what I observe influences my work. Inspiration too comes from the myriad of places I visit, people I interact with and what I absorb visually in nature. Spending a few hours laid on the cold desert dunes of the Sahara in Morocco, waiting for the first glimpses of the dawn, watching as the sun explodes into a new day inspires me for my silk scarves.
Also, as the face who curates incredible travel experiences and adventures as Lets Go 2 Morocco I realise the two can no longer be separate, they are intertwined at the very core.
After spending 4 years in Spain then 7 in Morocco for most of the year, life and a six month lockdown threw me a curve ball and I knew it was time to relocate back to the Emerald Isle. Morocco gave me the opportunity to step back, reassess how I wanted to experience life and to challenge myself on many levels. I also had a desire to share my love for this country and its indigenous peoples which prompted me to set up Lets Go 2 Morocco. Over the years I built up an amazing team who take care of my clients. Attention to detail is not just for my artistic or foodie creations, it is also for my tour itineraries. My passion for nature is a driving force, my sense of place, of connectedness, of wonder and my boundless enthusiasm is infectious.
In these strange times, one has time to reflect, ponder and wonder. Also to rethink and reset the ways of being and doing. There are multiple strands to my life and yet at their confluence is the whole. I feel now is the time to join the dots. Summer 2020; I relocated back to Ireland.
The journey is unknown. The excitement is real.
You can find my work on my Facebook Page, Instagram, Twitter,
Instagram, Website, Etsy Shop and in many homes around the globe.
This link will take you to all of the online ones: