Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog en-us (C) Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:19:00 GMT Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:19:00 GMT Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog 120 114 Project 2017 :: The Neighbor My Project 2017 continues. To remind you,  I am deconstructing a YEAR of daily collage making and sharing the stories and themes that evolved.

Posts so far: 

Cry For Help

Black And White 

Project 2017 :: The Neighbor

This will be the hardest story I tell from this past year. It will also be the most comprehensive. 40 collages created all told. It is a long rather complicated story. For 5 weeks, during the Spring of 2017, my collage work narrated the story of bullying and harassment. As the collages revealed themselves I felt their validity and creative witness. One can not make this stuff up. 

At the core of some of these pieces are images of men that really looked like this person - this bully, or they portrayed an essence of him. How that could possibly occur from a random stack of magazines? Yet it did. The collages revealed fear, and my seeking help. They shared an emotional sorting, as I endured this person, his lack of boundaries and mentally abusive behavior.  They illustrated my taking my own stand and finding my own inner strength.  I didn't plan to tell this story though my art. The art became spontaneously as I got to the other side of one circumstance at a time. Once the neighbor was evicted and gone from the property I felt such relief. Months later he meddled in my life once more, and a collage was there for me again. 

Larger views of these collages are in this album #30-#72 

The 13 collages below illustrate him in likeness and or in essence.

 actual notes on the back of each collage are at the end of this post. *denotes these 12.  


1. We spoke of the cities we liked, his love for horses, he told me he was a homosexual. 


2. He told an epic and very strange tale of his mother and his sister. obsessed with that story. he said he was a writer who was going to author this tale of his family. he loved pasta.



3. the house before he moved in was deplorable. he had no boundaries re: my personal space


4. shared meals, and happy hour, him on the dinner plate judging me - my trying to detach and re-establishing my own space.


5. when he met me he said i looked like a deer in a headlight ( upper right hand corner ) I felt like my living circumstances was becoming unstable ( house of cards ) and divided - there were two sides - the collage looks like a dark butterfly. flight.


6. falling on deaf ear, things got so weird so fast, i felt who would believe me. we shared a meal the day we met, his treat, at the restaurant, there was a lady of guadalupe, that was the beginning - i began to fear homelessness. i was afraid



7. i was in a creek without a paddle - in between two men, the landlord and the neighbor



8. a man who loved pasta, surrounded by circles of oysters, creating protection



9. news of him being evicted, i could see his farewell - there he goes off into the sunset. relief



10. the day he moved out he choreographed a spectacle. drama. he reported the landlord to the county, spoke about me outside my door loudly to this inspector, he told her that i had sexual relations with the landlord. the things he said. on the back of the collage i wrote - flabbergasted.



11. once he left, i again felt like who would listen to me, who would i tell and what would i even say - in one ear out the other.



12.  this was the first day of harassment, in this collage I took elements of him - ice cream, salads and salmon ( he ate a lot of the same foods ) and they morphed into a protecting mermaid, at least that's how I interpreted it.



13. the resemblance to his actual self in this collage is frightening.


Imagine a house on an acre of Washington county land set back from the road, nestled in the foothills. Beautiful? At a glance perhaps so. The house -- was a two story home.  It had an attached 500 square foot storeroom converted into an apartment.  The transient Canadian landlord and his wife, called the studio apartment "the suite." The market for apartment living in this area is saturated and competitive. When I viewed the studio, I had been looking to move for several months. The storeroom was filled with debris and had no plumbing, but I saw its potential, and more importantly I really needed an apartment. I asserted myself with an offer of cash for the unit and was awarded a casual contract. Handwritten receipt and terms.  When I revisited the unit a few weeks later to see it's progress and to secure my key, things were not finished. I had per our previous agreement committed a truck, movers, as well as notified my soon to be former circumstance of my leaving. I was not turning back. 

The day I moved in was a bleak February day.  I arrived to a bathroom that needed a bucket to flush the toilet with, no kitchen sink or stove, and electrical challenges. The landlord stayed in the house when he was in town ( a thin wall and adjoining door divided us ) He, and a handyman were IN my apartment for the next 12 days. I witnessed remarkable ineptness, poor materials and shoddy workmanship. This was to be my new home.  The rent was within my means. I called it my Country Studio and did what I could to make it mine. The challenges turned out to be many, including dealing with the landlord, his use of the property as a dumping ground for building materials and garbage, living far from the city, and an apartment that had a mice infestation problem.  I lost respect for the landlord pretty early on, he was arrogant, not truthful and he was weird. Very very weird. I was an asset to his circumstance as a paying, loyal renter. 


I had now lived there a year. The landlord was in Canada, and had asked that I clean his side of the house to prepare for a bank assessment and a potential tenant, when he asked me to open the house for an investor I witnessed deplorable living conditions. I had a key because the router was on his side for shared internet. As transient as the landlord was I requested the key to get to the router to reboot it incase the internet failed. I had not needed that in his absence thus far. When I let the banker in -- it was my first time actually inside the house. The space was a construction zone, just filthy and furnishings etc were of very low quality. There was open food on the counters, dirty dishes, and rotten food in the fridge. There was rodent feces everywhere. I declined the cleaning job sharing that it wasn't light cleaning but more industrial in nature. A job beyond my abilities. It surprised me that he lived that way while there.

In February someone knocked on my door. The man at the door said he was there to see the apartment for rent.  The landlord had not told me he had placed an ad to rent it. The property as I mentioned was remote, so someone knocking on my door was unusual.  The man was insistent. I felt like I wanted to be of help to the landlord - if he had another paying tenant then my rent would stay the same and my terms would be more secure. I showed the house to this man.

This man became my new neighbor/shared housemate so to speak. 

He later turned bully, and harassed me. His treatment of me had me seek legal help and call the sheriff. At one juncture this person disconnected my internet, and my electricity. The verbal abuse reached a pitch that frightened me. I felt threatened. I started taking notes. I began to feel that what I was experiencing was surreal or that noone would believe me. 

In the beginning, the landlord agreed to rent to him without meeting him. They took his money. They rented the downstairs part of their house full of garbage to this person.  The man saw an opportunity to pilfer funds from the landlord - first, for cleaning the apartment to make it suitable for living, and then to help with clean up on the property. But then the man began to play games with the landlord, including criticism of me. The landlord finally came from Canada with his wife. They had no loyalty to my year of tenancy or the fact that they knew me - they listened to this man they had never met before. The way they treated me that day was deplorable.  Later, the landlord said he realized that this man was mentally ill from his first meeting of him. He apologized to me.  During this time the county was trying to serve legal papers to the landlord, and at one point the utilities were turned off for lack of payment. The landlord began building a staircase to the upstairs part of the house - for shared living.  He expected to rent the downstairs, to live upstairs when he was in town and share the kitchen and shower with said tenant. If only you could have seen the inside of this house. The landlord was not an honest man. He had been renting illegally to me, and now to this other person. In the end my new neighbor was evicted. He was also afraid of the landlord. 

When the man became a renter, I admit I helped him, I gave him my opinions - the situation was pretty weird, I had the key to let in a housekeeper, there was no landlord so, I was the contact person - i did this to be helpful, to be neighborly.  However this person became too close too fast - he was in my face each and every day, knocking on my door with questions, or relentlessly emailing me or borrowing my stove to make his dinner, and again I felt to be a good neighbor I should be helpful. What he did to clean that apartment was a very very large undertaking - one I would not particularly wish upon anyone. Yet, very quickly I felt I had lost my personal space and privacy.  When he had settled in -  I tried to share that with him - I wanted my privacy and boundaries -- that is when his flip switched. He became angry and volatile. This is when the bullying began. 

Larger view of collages #30-#72

 #4 #3

 #4 & #3   #5  #6  #7 #8 #9  #8 & #9 #11 #12 #14  #15 #16 #17  #18  #19  #20 #23  #26 #27  #28 #29 #30  #31 #32 #33 #35  #36 #38

( actual notes from the back of the collages )

*1. i have a new neighbor, he likes horses and the city. he's gay 2/19

*2. small scrap pile piece, unexpected elements, seems like it's my neighbors mother, circles and pasta

3. solitude, shadows, beauty, framing, pointing - season and light shifting. losing my privacy 

4. solitude, shadows, beauty, framing, pointing - season and light shifting. losing my privacy 

5. he talks a lot. not much room for others to speak

6. seems to have a lot of personal battles. keep things simple. dream man. whatever

7. wooded land winter bleak

8. bridges to the other sides of ...symmetry, not my usual presentation 

9. bridges to the other sides of ...symmetry, not my usual presentation. neighbor said - i don't like that one

*10. dark eyed neighbor, as if he's looking at me all the time. in my face

11.the night of the oscars, female divide/no interest in awards. fascade

12. stormy, bang trim, comfort food, film

*13. outside of myself, him on a platter staring, don't look at me, the man sure liked to drink

14. blue chair grounded, protecting myself, cosmic, centered, universal woo woo woman

15. missing my kids - wolf, kate, train is transient, watching over my journey film=story

16. lets rewrite the crowd, the youth, next generation , the view from here

17. headless father

*18. the first day of bullying this creation appeared, "things got fishy" the neighbor liked ice cream, salmon and salad. this collage looks like an alter ego mermaid, encompassing said bully and asserting my own personal power.

*19. the first day of bullying this creation appeared, "things got fishy" the neighbor liked ice cream, salmon and salad. this collage looks like an alter ego mermaid, encompassing said bully and asserting my own personal power.

20. international womens day. takes a crowd. leaders or followers. cult. fashion 

*21. on top of old spaghetti, surrounded/protected by oyster circles. he was a stranger/danger. 

*22. deer in headlights, he said, neighbor, house divided, house of cards, poof/gone dark butterfly, wings open wide fly

23. weekend of no electricity, food bank trip, no internet stupidity. coven. each other, tribe, circle

*24. another no internet day. lies. frustrated. up the creek without a paddle. my plea, in between two men. landlord and neighbor

*25. falling on deaf ear, solo, homeless, street scene - lady of guadalupe, view from the car - uncanny ( dinner ) 

26. envision the other side of harassment, something forward, my tribe, my flock around me 

27. take a stand, stand on your own two feet, stand, walk your talk

28. stranger lurking behind the winter scenery, wintery cold, the nose knows

29. nature rides out the storm

30. i wondered if i needed to protect myself. realistic props from film

31. tension, stress, finding my ace, ace up my sleeve, sourcing my win, eat a burger

32. spring nesting altered paper,species birth egg, pink 

33. the chicago orchid show was happening. blur, solo, regaining self, strong, tide

*34. the view from here - he was supposed to be leaving. just go 

35. royalty, deserving, solid steps, bit of green, spring

36. my life is alien, like another planet, shaken, be tall, find my pillar of strength

*37. neighbor moved out today. witness, report to county, drama, he said she said - just flabbergasted. 3/27

38. inside/outside i don't know who i am, divided, multi-dimensional

*39. in one ear and out the other, lip service, made for it's vibrancy and color

*40. when maniacal enters your world once more, months later 6/8 puppet strings, meddling, and a collage manifests itself - the paper is crumpled and you say no - throwing it all away.

Once all of this transpired the landlord for my country studio gave me notice to vacate. He then told me to stay, and then gave me notice to leave again. Even when said neighbor was in house, I had begun a search for an apartment. In hindsight I probably should have kept a journal for all of my apartment hunting, the things I saw, the high rent for apartments filled with mold and other deplorable conditions. I ended up at The Loft for 6 months, moving one day prior to my notice. Since I've move to a city studio. ( 2 months now ) and I hope I NEVER have to move ever ever again! Where ever I am, I am collage making. That is probably the happy ending part of this story!



]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Mon, 19 Feb 2018 01:19:22 GMT
Project 2017 :: Black And White Project 2017 continues as I explore the daily collage work that was created in 2017.

I am sharing chronologically.  As stories, as they need to be told, or in defined themes like this:  

Project 2017 :: Black And White

On FB someone had offered a challenge to post 7 black and white photographs. I participated in that challenge and decided to also collage in black and white. I loved how they turned out ( *denotes the collages completed that week) In looking back over the year I found many other black and white collages. I feel combined the collection of black and white collages have an impressive presence. 

Some of the stories in these are intense. Everything from fighting winter, loneliness... to, apartment searching and disappointment, apartment finding and moving, gratitude in friendships long gone or newly found, new magazine sources, tension, anxiousness or the opposite, a feeling of boldness and strength. 

You can view the collages in a larger format album here.  (images 6-29) Notes from the back sides of each piece are at the end of this post. 

#1 #2 #3  #2&3 #4 #5  #6  #10  #11  #12 #13  #14 #15  #16  #17 #18  #19  #20  #21 #22  #23 #7  #8  #9

( notes from the back of each piece )

1. fighting off winter. good tearing 1/9

2. 2 and 3 were a two page collage - both strong individually, but very good together

3. i feel powerful today. open windows, vulnerable, chapters closing, edgy

4. zigs and zags, cool sunglasses, stepping down

5. mysterious in black and white, mourning, netting = captured. the other side of bullying. 3/30 

6. no writing

7. bleak, news of not getting a cottage apartment. 

8. lease signed. oh my goodness. the loft

9. moving day, june

10. dating, how time slips by, it's like a dance, at the hand of the attention of a man ( got hit on twice that day. so, unlike me ) 

11. star tracks in yosemite, shadowed staircases

12. * broaches, pearls and polished nails. the comfort of friends, gratitude. i feel this one.

13. *should she become bearded, the city and the divide, great rips 

14. *friday the 13th, gossip, caddy, evil, pearls - when pearls were a thing

15. *a flurry of black and white, story to tell, some day. did i tell you how very by myself i am 

16. *it's like a narrative of something evil or mischevious - a relationship ( more collaging on the back side ) 

17. * monday, chaos, mr montana, money, so tired, sleepy, out of my realm, glossy

18. *feather in the wind of...there is a feather in this collage.

19. the day of my artist talk, halloween-y, shared bdays with carol. met jon. love this piece.

20. last of the dark, eerie, spooky, halloween-esque pulled imagery

21. I C U " i see you" veterans day eagle, pride, determined. another fav - such texture

22. alone for the holiday/nov -  swimming in - trying too hard to have things to do, pretending. such texture and framing

23. "the embrace"  a very bleak friday. great tension in this


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan project project 2017 Mon, 12 Feb 2018 04:36:28 GMT
Project 2017 :: Cry For Help Welcome to my latest project.

In 2017 I took on making a collage each and every day. Come November I entered a call for art and put to thought how would one highlight 375 pieces of collage art. I came up with quite a few rather fun ideas! I loved the challenge. While the reality of that large of an instillation remains to be seen, I decided that I would retrospectively dive in to see what I had created. I sat with all 5 journals multiple times, and have defined 15 larger themes, and some rather specific "subconscious reveal" stories. A subconscious reveal is basically my creative process.  It involves a search for images, allowing imagery to choose me and then an assembly. Over time, I've added technique like image pairing or typography or tearing vs scissor work but even with techniques for making - my work is very autobiographical. True journaling in a very personal way. The uncanny part of my collage work is often the finished piece reflects my reality.

I have decided to undertake taking all of my journals apart and reveal the patterns, themes and stories they tell. It's a much larger undertaking than I expected, but it's also a great way to create smaller examples of my work that could be useful for art calls or future installations. I feel excited to bring words to these visual expressions and to share them with you.

Project 2017 :: Cry For Help

As the story goes, my cars brakes failed. The repair was rust related at an epic level. One mechanic called it a cancer. The advice confirmed by multiple mechanics was to sell the car for parts. I was NOT prepared financially to purchase a car, I lived out in the middle of nowhere, and it was winter. 

THIS collage was a cry for help. When I created it, I just burst into tears. I thought I can't do this by myself - I need to ask for help. and there was my cry beautifully captured in collage form. My first patron - a very generous one, stepped forward because of this collage. That persons name is written on the back of the collage.  WoW. 

All told I was without a vehicle for about 6 weeks. I had an interim vehicle, but it was a car that had not been driven for sometime, it had some challenges - like stalling in the middle of country roads, it was not winter worthy and we got some serious snow dumps those weeks, and the day I returned it, the car actually blew a gasket. ( just my luck - right?? ) The owner sold it. 

When I left IL in 2015 - the car had already hinted to rust related decline. I had a solid plan when moving west, and had the car to a place where I felt I was safe to travel 3500 miles. Just get me there "Betty Blue". and she did. However when arriving west, the home space I thought I was coming to didn't pan out. A big fail in the plan. Instead of rebuilding, I survived, pinched and struggled. 

My friends, my wonderful wonderful friends started a Go Fund Me Campaign to help fund a car.  In 30 days, and because of that campaign, funding was gifted to me to purchase a vehicle. A profoundly humbling experience. The car that I let go of was a compact. The car that I purchased is an SUV - and is more car than I have ever had. I feel like a queen every single time I drive it. 

Notes from the back of each piece:

1. call for help. wow. ( patrons name is on the back ) 

2. whimsy, making light of my circumstance, unexpected 

3. thanksgiving day - time capsule, tone, scape, vertical. alone.

4. herd, things in order, standing on my own two feet, gestures of giving, blue

5. talk of the car, lean on us, we are there for you



]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Sun, 11 Feb 2018 20:58:08 GMT
Shelf-Conscious Collage Journals at Make.Shift A local call for art requested the journals of artists for a group show at Make.Shift In Bellingham. I had been playing with a small origami booklet in collage and decided to make a bunch of them with collaged words on them. random. nothing specific or organized, just subconscious word play.

As you know I tend to NOT collage with words, I have integrated typography into my work, and words do find me sometimes and they get a devoted page at the end of each journal. 

THIS project evolved into something very unexpected. The art call was right about the time of this last move almost two months ago now. If you recall the decision and the actual move all happened very quickly. On the other side of it all I felt feelings of post-trauma. like holy crap what a roller coaster ride this move west has been. my city studio as I call it will be and is, a MUCH better scenario for me, but as circumstances would have it - I had to wait 25 months to get to it. The move was week before christmas, a lot of emotions, chaos and loneliness. This call for art gave me something to do. 

The project was cathartic, time-consuming, meditative, and fun. It became multi-dimensional and more comprehensive than what I first envisioned. The pages feel worn, used, thought upon. The words found were random yet synchronistic to my day, my mood and my life. The project took multiple magazines down to nothing but their binding, utilizing the entirety of their pages, imagery and words.

23 Handmade Origami Journals. 72 pages. 604 - ish words. 3 glue sticks.

Magazines used:  V, Tricycle, Harry Potter Catalog, National Geographic, Rolling Stone, Smithsonian.

These are what the collages said: 


strong insights buzz don’t be fooled by the most important there you are the rock review coming

is fish for thought whisk make withdrawn we’re sure

life after turn your bad day around make us better some some the next human beyond mountains contents

contents beyond when you’ve made history go barking wild for a weekend ice is melting

these simple moves will help stretch you haven’t felt this good since you were doing cartwheels in the backyard yourself happy

you breathe deep stand the day tall and loosen up all over fall

things you need earned the four eyed fish watery

right or left we need energy original flavor books

human problems when sex is so a gift for a friend change the rest is silence

change wake up call swirl view

day taste kindness in a pomegranate mind

the sanity we are born with finished 2 minutes pearls of wisdom walls are doors may I become an island

woman change your meeting of the minds ice co

getting around world naturalness thirty six years later because of us changes matter

leave it intense H hot stuff

lets step back a moment collective blue green blue troubled waters clean water water

crisis solitude green blue rend blue green green

cling clutter things blue red blue green blue blue green blue rainful skies

freezin its not about belonging at all  but letting go desire learning to listen


blue red green


living sees art now

turn art sublime art great lovers

into a great room

illustrate the predators legendary hunting techniques first comes love phenomenon then comes evolutionary strategy

heartbreaking enchanting life the estate of

jewels power of royal color

a cure? Doctors are harnessing metallic spheres travel the world free most lovable be so cute that humans will do the work to keep them around explore

hottest contributors from the coolest real art heroes soared on the trail discussion landed meet the animal

plucked from affections love plunder our deepest bonds hold the secrets to tender silver today’s your lucky day

who she was saved from when flock together then and now embracing

poetry has probably saved me her identity expanded

needs the world needs interesting so little time it’s like a blast of hydration classic

be without bread home cook bigger ideas alone

home natural food for thought nocturnal love feast new show selection can humans adapt traditions

on planet? Do it yourself forward present day science becomes near future distant future

6,000 years ago adapt to fast to the red flight control the future in the making reality the mountainous

offer the quality you need realising a world a fishy tail how did they do that? The truth takes on an ever grander proportions

doll queen of grunge question peace too best customer bonus save $1.00 free realize your vision

rocks rough and tumble state of mind people are people piece of cake it happened parts desire love

its day break let them eat cake

new photography a tale of two men

imagine big love water presented by visions

faithful apparently savor


take refuge after the city is a ruin. trains sit motionless on their tracks. Schools ae silent. Libraries and laundromats lanquish in decay. Everyone has vanished.

Life full of everyday encouraging us somewhere getting there extraordinary

Free tiny frozen stirring that as is not giving up

The muddy square of earth is the way things really are clouds in water the hands of a woman celebrate life to live

Ho! A heavy disappointment ultra

Off the beaten path bridge follow your curiosity it goes throughout separated by eight years

Thing way shape and form that same punch that discussion it felt real.

Your way square your questions answered great

Squared close to home it will be common home

The The The The The The The The

The The The The

The The The The The long way

Cinderella exploring how you can help people escape

On the afternoon of shape meet our most important world giant beast

Making you huff and puff? Full steam ahead recovered from seeing the forest fast forward fatal beauty

For complements visionary national

Eight shore

Monogamy that roared here’s a dirty little secret: treasure the mouth

What moves you? next sparkling generation

Love just the right amount of love.

The installation revolves around a REAL teens room, a TRUNK full of readable touchable journals. In the adjacent room are shelves, pedestals and mobiles of a variety of art journals - painted, inked, authored and collaged. Just wonderful. 

I really enjoy participating in group shows at Make.Shift - the shows are creatively accessible and it's a happening place. Fun vibe to be a part of. 

Thank you Make.Shift for having me!! 



]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage exhibit karen hanrahan washington Sun, 11 Feb 2018 04:23:01 GMT
Freelance Articles For Whatcom Talk Whatcom Talk is an online community news digest that reports timeless and positive news.  I am pleased to say that I am writing for them now. I thought I'd keep my articles all in one blog post for easy reference. 


Celebrating The New Sumas Historical Society and Museum 

Meet Jessica Bee An Integral Part Of East Whatcom Regional Resource Center

What Makes Jansen Art Center's Vin Queneville Tick?

Meet Bob Shapiro Mover of Chi 


( images by Karen Hanrahan )


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan washington whatcom county writer Tue, 06 Feb 2018 23:26:16 GMT
Integrating Typography Into Collage Soon, at Jansen Art Center, I will be teaching a class that has a specific technique and creative focus.

The class I've taught for sometime The Creative Subconscious Collage Workshop, while still comprehensive does not seem to be a fit for my current demographic. Since I love teaching and sharing collage I am excited to take on new ways of doing so. 

I found this particular project and use of typography in a book titled: The Collage Workbook by Randel Plowman and brought my own twist to it.

I feel its important to distinguish the difference between words and type. I am not one to typically collage with words. Words do find me, and I value them greatly, just not within my art. At least not regularly. Playfully, I devote a page to words at the end of every journal. They are in my opinion their own thing. Generally, I find words distracting in a collage that to me is about utilizing imagery.

Words say something. Like the piece "work in progress"

( made that one recently, the day after I had moved ) 

Typography does not.



Typography is a now diminished art form. When I personally think of typography it's in reference to a word document. A favorite font, its shapes and size. In it's prime before the digital age typography was a very important and specialized occupation. 

In my collage work typography is about the relationships of the curves, lines and positive and negative space each letter or Font has.  In one collage I felt that graffiti was its own form of typography, it played nicely within the context of my collage

Playing with typography within my art work has been really fascinating.

I did break my own rule and incorporate a word in some of these. 

That's the beauty of being a creative

it gets to be whatever you want it to be!

I look forward to continue integrating typography into my collage work

and teaching others to do the same!




]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist bellingham collage collage artist karen hanrahan washington Thu, 11 Jan 2018 04:22:29 GMT
2017 Daily Collage In Review At the beginning of 2017 I took on the hashtag #icollagedaily over at instagram. I set the intention to collage each and every day. And. I actually did that! I realize that I am prolific in image taking. 2017 would express that I am equally prolific in collaging. I have now come to the conclusion that I am compelled to "make". Making shows up as a narrative of my day to day life. Photography, collage and even making dinner are all part of how I express myself.

It's one thing to be loyal to an intention, it's another to produce work that visually narrated and triumphed a rather tough year. At the very end of it all it's now like what? What do I do with all of this art? How do I tell what it is that I have accomplished? Where do I even begin? 

Well, I have a few ideas: 

In Nov I had the opportunity to submit an installation with the idea of displaying 365 pages of art. Because when you collage each and every day, that's what you end up with. I did submit an idea, and as another artist friend of mine says - these proposals are a bit like giving birth - they are really intense to get together and submit. You really get into your head when pulling together a larger idea to a panel of judges. or an art board.

If I am actually granted the opportunity to do that sortof solo exhibition. Well - wow. right? That good news remains to be seen.

In the meantime or until I have a venue to take on and show last years volume of work. I still feel rather daunted by trying to encapsulate what I had created in a simpler way. Following the approach I've taken with my photographs in years past and making an annual calendar. I followed that process and selected 3 collages from each of the last 12 months as a gesture of this medium.

I plan to sit with my journals. All 6 of them. Tear them apart, and assemble them into themes that can be used for future solo installations. That should take me some time. I'll report back what I discover!

I summarized my year this way in my holiday newsletter: 

I find the more art I make, the more art I want to make.  I am my best self and happiest when I am making. My art making I am told pulls those around me into a narrative. Folks feel a sense of belonging, and a wondering about what I might make next. This level of audience and encouragement, especially this past year when making on a daily basis was very satisfying. My "in the moment" art sales not only helped gaps in my income, but fueled my making pleasure indescribably. Very defining for me as an artist.

In 2017 I had 9 collages in juried exhibits. I had 4 hangings in retail establishments both with photography and with collage. I had collages on consignment in a gift shop, and in two galleries. A trio of black and white collages continue to tour, they have been in 4 establishments. 4 of my photographs were chosen for honorable mention in a local event. I had a solo collage installation - 22 pieces of work, my most cohesive body of collage work yet - with rave review. "Inspirit-Form" is scheduled to show in multiple venues in 2018. It is also virtually represented with Gallery Pegasus at their Artsy space. I have been invited to show new works in two group shows so far in the year ahead.  

Below are the 36 collages that I selected to represent this past year's daily making: I feel the collection as a whole is best described as "morphed" I like words as prompts, and as descriptors - these pieces illustrate: flight, female power, trees and how they root me, bullying, stalking, harassment, fear, loss of home stability, searching for home, stress around finding a place to live, duality, shouting to be heard, declarative power, haunted, relief, the influence of the moon, or nature, loss or death of, loneliness, youth, NYC, whimsy, the color blue, the sanctity of home, maternal love, friendships, leaning on others, striking a pose, knowing, laughter, the incorporation of typography. My work often uses paired image technique, is bold in its expression, and in the use of color.

The entire album is here if you want to see them in gallery style. All are for sale. 







]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan Mon, 01 Jan 2018 00:51:34 GMT
ART Inventory Sale Two years ago I had the opportunity for the first time to vend, show and teach my art in WA. I showed, shared and facilitated collage mostly. I also showed and sold photography.

I had a bit of a learning curve about branding, packaging, marketing, and display. Many of you suffered through some of that with me and for that I am grateful. I had art sell. Many pieces sold actually. Which makes me feel like my work is valued, and that my making is having an impression on those I share it with.

Call that audience, fans, friends who love me, or collectors. Love saying that ...collectors. You all know who you are,  ALL of you are seriously awesome. 

One thing I never want is art laying around. When I had the offer to consign with Dog And Pony Gallery - I sent collage work to Peoria, IL. When things outdated themselves at a gift shop. I removed them. And NOW in my personal inventory I have some older or previously released art pieces that I'd like to find homes for. 

All said, I am having an inventory SALE and you are invited!!

Below are  images of what is reduced in price in this post but to view closer and share with me what you have an interest in please go to this GALLERY and tell me the # that is associated with the piece. That is the simplest. 

ALL items are already packaged in 8 x 10 sleeves. The last picture, is a photograph is 8 x 10, the two photographs prior are also photographs that are 5 x 7's - some collages are small or 5x7's. 

these three collages #13,15 16 should/could be sold as a grouping of three - they go together beautifully. just a thought.

MOST pieces in this gallery are priced to sell at 50% OFF.

message me please for prices.

Update: I actually forgot to post this. oops!

Collages 1-9 are now on consignment at Pegasus Gallery in Bellingham, WA.

This one is taken









]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Wed, 06 Dec 2017 20:17:04 GMT
The Loft I would say that this living space, my loft, is the oddest space I have ever lived in.

It's the third place I have lived since moving west.

Defined as commercial work/live dwellings. It's basically a garage, with a loft. The floor downstairs is cement, the bathroom is truck stop style complete with a shower that drains into the floor. There is one single south exposure window that is almost at ceiling level above the garage door. To open the window, you need a ladder. a 22 ft ladder. Airflow is a bit of an issue. I had a 4 ft by 10 ft screen made for the garage door. The screen is a work in progress. When it's warmer, it could not be more perfect, but it's too much screen for cooler/wetter times of the year. 

The loft part has a pane of glass that overlooks the downstairs, but it doesn't open. This at least allows the light in. Fifteen stairs up, fifteen stairs down. all day long. the upstairs is where the kitchen is, it's carpeted, and I sourced it with two hot plates.The biggest luxury is the huge stainless steel sink, a far cry from the 8x8 sink of the country studio. I had a closet built with a shelf for books. I use the space as my den and to cook.

The quiet here is indescribable. Respectful neighbors. And near an abundance of country roads and views. The foothills are moments away.

I love it. The story of how I found this spot is filled with synchronicity. 

As with most of this journey I have had moving west, sometimes I am not sure how I am pulling all of this off.

But I am. 


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Thu, 23 Nov 2017 20:06:54 GMT
Inspirit Form Is Now At Artsy Downtown Bellingham Gallery Pegasus is virtually representing my 22 collage collection "Inspirit - Form" at Artsy.

Be sure to click on each photo to read commentary by curator Jody Thompson. 


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist artsy gallery pegasus karen hanrahan virtual virtual gallery Thu, 23 Nov 2017 19:06:26 GMT
Holiday Showings! I am very excited to share that my black and white touring collage trio will be joining the window and door collage series over at Happy Chap Creative now and at least through December.


Window And Door Series :: Tentative RealityWindow And Door Series :: Tentative Reality Window And Door Series :: The Ladder Known As MondayWindow And Door Series :: The Ladder Known As Monday Window And Door Series :: Headless PrivacyWindow And Door Series :: Headless Privacy Window And Door Series :: Bricked WildernessWindow And Door Series :: Bricked Wilderness


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist bellingham karen hanrahan washington Thu, 23 Nov 2017 18:51:20 GMT
In Praise Of Inspirit-Form The Inspirit-Form Collage Collection is down. 

A piece sold 

another is in inquiry to sell

a donation was made to the friends of the deming library

and, my best news yet

the collection has THREE bookings so far in 2018. 6 months all told.

Inspirit-Form on tour!

Does that have me feel like an artist or what!!

Here are some comments folks made:

"courageous, compelling and creative." 

"i've not seen anything like your work"  

"so unigue"

"stunning. remarkable really. well done." 

"unique,lovely and intellectual" 

"i've been to this exhibit twice now. highly recommend. striking and very unique, beautifully done"

"just discovered the clip board with the descriptions of each collage, great idea, very helpful"

"awesome and inspiring"


"very impressive work"

"so nice to see them framed and hung"

"really great"

"how much do you sell your works for?"

#3  SOLD

a wild mob rushes on. the eyes of the stampede break through the image and confront the spectator. Hanrahan;s horizontal tears help stabalize an otherwise tumultuous scene. teh image reminds us that any barriers between humanity and nature are inconsequential.

( written by curator jody thompson ) 


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage inspirit-form karen hanrahan washington Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:50:02 GMT
Turning The Soil The prompt invited the theme of turning the soil

when i read that,

i immediately thought of a former garden bed of irises.

at the house i no longer own.

when they first blossomed they had all of their glory.

( impressive show of iris's in their full reveal ) 


after a few years and lack of care. my lack of care. they choked on themselves. the earth around them wasn't nurtured, the roots intertwined. i spent a couple gardening weekends trying to resurrect them, but those were not bulbs that i had planted, those neglected roots were not my history, i had not placed intent or love into that garden bed. while it was a positive gesture to perhaps try and save them, the task was too much. trying to bring something back from the dead was not moving my life or my garden bed forward. I had to let it go.

( but in this year, only one stalk blossomed)


some time later i asked for help with that garden bed and digging up those bulbs, he shared that there was no saving them and i was told i had made a good gardening decision. i needed to hear that. over a longer course of time i attempted to nurture other old gardens on that property. i felt an obligation to maintain an appearance of sorts. I was a terrible gardener. I had this clarifying moment where i realized I am not a gardener. I am an artist. i should not be toiling the soil of someone else's efforts. I should be tending my own creative garden. My focus was meant to be on things I did well! 

At that time I was beginning to turn my attention to photography and collage. I was asking myself what was it about those two mediums had me feel like an artist. Perhaps an intentional focus at what I was good at would nurture the artist in me

I had to think of myself as a fresh bulb, dig in and find what lay underneath.  I had to break it apart and establish viable roots, re-plant, gently feed, aerate, and water, prepare for new seed and let my inner ideas bloom

]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan Sun, 05 Nov 2017 21:35:48 GMT
Twin Sisters Farmers Market FINALLY

finally, after a year and a half, I found a balanced and efficient rhythm that combines my snap/ebt benefits, my gasoline budget, my time and my grocery shopping.  

believe it or not at $6 a day in food spending dollars,

HOW i plan, spend and shop is really a bit of a dance.

Some of the farmers markets in this county are part of something called the Fresh Bucks program

This makes it possible for every dollar i spend (up to $10),  to double my local organic vegetable and fruit spending.

it's pretty darn cool.

i spend/buy $10

and get $10 MORE in food for free.

or subsidized.

when i buy food at the farmers market

in addition to getting some for free.

i also get great longevity 

out of what i buy.

for example something like 

swiss chard 

it doesn't quickly go bad like the grocery story swiss chard does.

thats because it was picked the day or day before bought it

vs having travelled from california or who knows where. 

i feel and experience a tremendous value.

and i feel a great gratitude.

i treasure this way of spending

i'd rather give what dollars i have 

to a person. or a farmer 

then a grocery store.

the season for the market closed this past saturday

below is a photo essay of this years visits to the twin sisters farmers market. 

( June - October ) 

Thank you!!



]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) farmers market fresh bucks karen hanrahan photographer twin sisters market washington whatcom county Thu, 02 Nov 2017 02:31:28 GMT
Self Portrait In Chalk On Velvet Behold - a drawing I rendered in the early 90's. 

The class assignment was to replicate a famous artist in our own likeness on an 18 x 24 piece of black velvet paper. The instruction angered me. I was not skilled in chalk, I thought velvet looked cheesy. I had no interest in myself or looking at myself artistically. Plus I was not having a very good week. 

To give you perspective I was in my thirties, a mother of two. My marriage was falling apart and I was striking out on my own. Against the wishes of said husband I enrolled in art classes, and I took on a part-time job on the weekends. He had not allowed me to buy a pair of much needed shoes, thus the reason for working.  I'll just get my own shoes thank you very much. He complained about having to watch his kids while I did things that were of interest to me. 

On my way to work, I was sitting in traffic at a red light. It was raining. really really raining. The stop light was on the other side of a bridge overpass. As I looked up in my rear-view mirror a car came flying over the bridge, the three men sitting in the front seat looked as if they were on a roller coaster ride. Obviously they were going too fast. Obviously they were going to hit me, and even more obvious - there was not a single thing I could do about it. The rear end of my car was smashed all the way to the driver seat.  The airbag did not deploy, my head cracked the windshield, glasses had been flung off my head, I could not stop trembling. I was pulled out of the vehicle. I was placed on a gurney, I remember the wet and the light spin of the emergency vehicles at the scene - it rained on me for a rather long while. I was wearing my new shoes.  I don't see well without my glasses. Much was blurry. I don't recall much else - did I hit the car in front of me, were others hurt? All I know is I had to ask someone to call my work and say I couldn't make it in that day and that I had to alert my family.  I kept asking if someone had called to explain why I was late. I never saw that car again. Over and over I imagined what would have happened had either of my children been in that car.  The person who hit me of course had no insurance. My insurance did not total my vehicle. Lets add insurance stupidity to the occasion.

In ER, I got my period. ( the things we remember ) I was not allowed to get up to pee and or to take care of my bleeding. They offered me a bed pan. I was mortified. I think I was wearing tights. What a mess. My husband arrived at the hospital and just looked at me with worry in his eyes. Not the "I am with are going to be OK - we can get through this together"  sortof eyes. Just worry. I couldn't handle the worry. I needed the reassurance more than ever. We were long gone and far away from that sortof relationship.

The accident occurred on Easter weekend, and on Easter Sunday I was expected to attend a family dinner at a restaurant.  I remember the remarkable pain I was in, the chasing of my kids who were not very restaurant trained (we didn't do eating out for a reason) but hey, it was brunch, it was important to his family and there was plenty of champagne and boy my husband was having his fill of it.  I dared to mention the discomfort that I was in and I was told to take the pain meds I was given.  and while I had, the pain I felt was still indescribable - I drove home that evening because he had had too much to drink.  I could not move my neck. All I could do was look straight and there were tears streaming down my face. 

At the time I was referred to a D.O. for post accident care. I had never met him and I was not invited to see him again. He told me, I was going to hurt for a very long while. He told me to quit my job, to restrict my lifting and good luck. I had no diagnosis just a scrip for more pain killers.  

I went to my art class that week, because in that class I felt valued and I felt most like myself. I loved being a mom, but the tediousness of parts of motherhood were very soul sucking. Once I gave birth to a child. My husband vacated what I had know as a couple. I was drowning in ordinary and feeling alone in a lot of the equation. Art reminded me that I was alive. 

There I was in this class, uncomfortable and in pain and now having to do this stupid assignment.  In creating this piece I only recall that I lost myself in the assignment. The rendering flowed out of me. I was angry. Very angry, and because I was so resistant to the task - I missed what I had portrayed. Basically, I took the piece home, added it to my portfolio and never looked at it again. it was just a stupid class assignment. 

Fast forward many years later, I had put art aside. My first marriage had ended. I was on the other side of a failed second marriage. sigh. several more car accidents had occurred. I was buying my first house near where my daughter was attending college. A lot of life had passed me by. Sixteen years of life. In the move I unburied this old portfolio and pulled out this drawing. I was just in awe of what I had encapsulated of the time. 

First of all, the female form. If i had any sense of myself as a woman and my own personal beauty - it was not at that time - but the fact that I expressed such beauty, and even a small bit of nudity to me said that my strength of self as a woman was there - even if that personal strength was buried deep inside of me. Choosing Picasso and that pose was bold and courageous for me.

The actual chalking was way more skilled than I ever give or gave myself credit for - yes, it was copying another artist, but as I got to know myself as an artist - this chalking technique was rendered with my own skill and my own ideas.

Finally,  that face. oh my gosh that face. the crooked neck obviously signifying the accident, the blue hair (my favorite color), the glasses,the earrings (which I still have and wear) , the narrow skeletal structure, and the asymmetry so very important to my expression in art. that face was definitely me.

The defining moment of this chalk drawing is the pain in that face. the pain rendered of my face is so raw and so revealing. so hurt and so so so very sad.  I may have drawn in anger and resistance, but this person on this page was unhappy, and in deep deep pain. 

Since, this piece has stayed in my portfolio. I found a renewed love and appreciation for it, and a respect for the personal reveal of my art. I just have to remind myself to look with eyes that are removed somehow, perhaps detached is a better way to say that - to be detached from my life and circumstances in order to review what I create as art. 

Not always an easy thing to do. 


( chalk on velvet by Karen Hanrahan.  self-portrait rendered in the style of Picasso - 1993 )





]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Thu, 19 Oct 2017 22:25:06 GMT
7 Day Black And White Challenge In response to a FB prompt I playfully posted 7 black and white photography images to my feed. Additionally - I also made 7 black and white collages. I mean when in black and white mode ...


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist challenge collage karen hanrahan photographer Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:39:37 GMT
Autumn In Washington

]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:15:29 GMT
Window And Door Collage Series i recently created a collage series using black and white images. The magazine photographs captured windows and doors in the southwest and I morphed female forms into them. I  love the tone and individual feeling these have as well as how they reveal collectively.

Currently these will be displayed for October Art Walk and through October at Happy Chap Creative.

Window And Door Series :: The Ladder Known As MondayWindow And Door Series :: The Ladder Known As Monday Window And Door Series :: Headless PrivacyWindow And Door Series :: Headless Privacy Window And Door Series :: Bricked WildernessWindow And Door Series :: Bricked Wilderness Window And Door Series :: Tentative RealityWindow And Door Series :: Tentative Reality

]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 04 Oct 2017 20:02:39 GMT
Make YOUR 2018 Calendar Using MY Photographs This make your own calendar thing using my photographs idea started casually a few years ago and has since become rather beloved.

i make a calendar for myself every year and it's a practice of pause usually.

like my bio says i take way way too many photographs. so, when one particular image leaps out at me for that designated month? and one almost always does - that is my selection method. You'd be surprised how long it takes!!

this year i made the selections on the morning of my birthday and an indulgent second cup of coffee.

These are in order of the cover, then Jan - Dec.

Interested?  Contact me. You pay me an artist fee. I don't have a set fee. If I set the fee too high - folks say stuff -  if I set the fee too low then people want to give me more.  Lets discuss - I will tell you what others have paid. I have a pay pal account and this makes paying me super easy.

How it works:  you pay me an artist fee, i send you 13 image files via email, you watch for sales at places that sell calendars - they start going on sale now - some places even offer a free calendar!! You upload my images into the template they offer and make your own!! The months are already designated in the image file so it's SUPER simple.

Happy 2018!!



]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer washington Wed, 04 Oct 2017 02:54:25 GMT
Artist Talk And Raffle To Win A Collage Collage Artist Karen Hanrahan gives Artist Talk 

Friday October 27th at 4:30 - 6 PM

Deming Library - 5044 Mt Baker Highway

Inspirit-Form Collage Show Closing Reception.

I plan on raffling this collage that evening.

you must attend to win!!

truly hope you can join me.  

( the collage below is what a deming library noticed on FB - she invited me to show. its because of her that I have this solo exhibition! ) 


]]> (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Tue, 26 Sep 2017 20:17:45 GMT