Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog en-us (C) Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan (Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) Thu, 09 May 2024 20:40:00 GMT Thu, 09 May 2024 20:40:00 GMT Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan: Blog 120 119 Up To Ten spring 2024

creative elder bearded cat lady here

i am a narrative photographer. to me that means I capture a narrative that is often every day simple captures. or image groupings that tell stories. folks tell me they know when an image capture is mine. when i hear that. I feel like i have arrived. 

when I apply to artist residencies I apply with a focus on collage because i have a project right now that would benefit from a focused and devoted time to it

in general my collage making is prolific

the truth is as an artist if awarded a residency, i come along with both mediums.  

participating in a residency is a story. i will tell that story with photography. 

that said, and because i take a zillion photos i find it tremendously challenging to share what i do in up to 10 images, but here goes


my last holiday greeting

my dear feline companion amber

local black and white city scape. across the street from my favorite bakery


last year ( 2023 ) i got to the other side of a medical challenge. it is represented creatively with 14 collages titled the kidney series. it hangs permanently at a local gourmet food shop. 

mini stitched work. the size of a playing card. originally created to donate to a local free art gallery. the mini's work well on a note card also

recent 9x12 - people project. the box id filled with heads, faces, eyes etc...

9x12 with a binding. people project 

before and after 8x8's - people project with binding.  these 8x8's are like my mini collages. stitched and working within a boundary. they mimic a quilting technique called crazy quilting. quilts have a binding. i bind my paper pieces the same way. it took me years to perfect this self taught technique.

links and other examples upon request. 






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer Wed, 08 May 2024 22:56:33 GMT
A Decade Ago And The Creative Subconcious Process

( A Collage I made in a workshop I taught at Dancing Rabbit EcoVillage - Fall 2015 )

It's May 2024 and I just found this commentary I wrote about the subconscious mind collage process and the above piece.

I made this collage the week after I left Illinois in 2015.

It examples the subconscious mind trying to make sense of a relationship that fell apart.

Can you believe that that was almost 10 years ago now?  ( geesh ) 

I didn't ask this collage to be made. It arrived. and it profoundly affirmed ... "This was not your fault." It said. "He was broken. He came from a past that haunted him. He failed you and he failed himself. "

I needed to know that at the time.

Working with others - in workshops and collage circles, the collage reveal is sometimes hard to see. A bit like the above collage. This was not an easy piece to be with.

Today I am working on another residency application and I have been updating my resume. 

I make many different things. Mini stitched collages. Certain work in certain dimensions for upcoming events. It's hard to keep track of it all.

( I admit that I am not the best at keeping my records/portfolio in order )

In current times I am working on a long term collage project titled The People Project.

It continues to be a work in progress. It's a project that I submit to artist residencies. 

The project began in 2018. With many collages created in an 18x24 format. 

I felt overwhelmed after a year of working large because of limited storage space

I shifted the theme to a 9x12 format - sorry, they are not uploading to this post. click link to view

When I began to stitch my work, or replicate crazy quilt style pieces like quilting with paper,

these 8x8 collages were born! i called them portraiture within a boundary 

Both of the above sizes are now in the process of being bound. Binding is a way to finish a collage and make it easier to hang.

Below - Before and After Binding. 8x8

A 9x12 after its been bound

So far....or as of Spring 2024

2 18x24 Collages.

the 2 18x24 that spired the title of the project.

*a few others of this size could fit the theme 

27 - 9x12 -ish Collages. ish, means that after these were bound they became smaller in size. 

26 - 8x8 - 26

*total: 55

* forgive that these might be inexact #'s - i keep making and sometimes lose count.


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Wed, 08 May 2024 21:27:28 GMT
Collage Constellations at Meloy Gallery  

Coming to Meloy Gallery April 19th, 2024 through May

A group exhibit featuring collage art titled: Collage Constellations

14 Collage Artists will be represented. 

collages above by John Arbuckle, Lisa Snow Lady, Diane Tchakirides, Karen Hanrahan, Adetola Abatan, Joan Stuart Ross, Lynn Skordal, Mary Jo Maute, Lisa Sheets. 

Below are the 4 8x8 stitched collages I submitted.

Bird collages were created in 2020



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) collage karen hanrahan Fri, 12 Apr 2024 21:06:45 GMT
Haiku Kids Art Walk At MakeShift 2024 I enjoy participating in this local and annual call for art at Make.Shift

Kids Art Walk 2024 HAIKU

2024 - Join us on Friday, May 3rd from 5pm-9pm as we celebrate the opening of “Haiku", the seventh annual collaboration between Make.Shift and 4th, 5th and 6th grade students at SamishWoods Montessori.

Each year, students create watercolor paintings based on a theme and artists in the
Bellingham community and beyond create response pieces in a variety of mediums. Each diptych created in
this collaborative manner tells the story of a visual dialogue between a student and an adult artist, with the
student taking the lead and providing the inspiration for the adult. This format challenges the notion that adults
are always the teachers, the leaders, and the sources of inspiration. Students really enjoy seeing the way their
paintings are interpreted and relish the chance to take the lead in the creation process.

This year’s theme is “haiku” and students each wrote a haiku and created a painting to visually represent it. For
cultural context, Mayumi Paluh visited the classroom to share with students about the history and significance
of Haiku in Japan, and about growing up in a Japanese town famous for haiku.

My Student's Name: Shylo

Shylo's Haiku and Art:



The blossom tree sways 

as the sweet wind blows softly 

and the petals fall off.

My submit: 

title: pink petal in the rain

size: 4x6

medium: photograph


bio: For quite sometime I thought of myself as a closet creative. To me, that meant I wasn’t officially an artist.  As of late, I am out of the closet creatively. I feel like an artist each and every day! I am captivated by the image stories around me. This has me taking way too many photographs! Self taught, utilizing a simple point and shoot camera, I work intuitively. My image capturing style is described as organic, up close, and authentic. They say that my images are narrative. I like that! 

artist statement: In the past i have submitted collage art to this group show, but my first thought after reading Shylo's beautiful Haiku was this photograph. taken in 2016.

please donate this photograph to the artist and family. 

Karen Hanrahan

Make.Shift Art Space is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit DIY venue dedicated to providing a space for all ages art and
music in Bellingham. The 8,000-square-foot space includes 21 studios, an award-winning gallery, a live music
performance space and a low-power radio station KZAX 94.9. We are an all-ages space dedicated to a policy
of no booze, no drugs, no jerks. 






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer Wed, 10 Apr 2024 22:36:58 GMT
Fowl Play Invitational At Smith and Vallee Gallery Smith and Vallee Gallery is in the old school house in Edison which is in the Skagit Valley, WA. When I moved to the PNW ( in 2015 ) I felt like a stranger in a strange land. Since I was raised in the midwest I sometimes feel like I might always feel that way. The two are so different!

This is my 6th year participating in the galleries bird themed invitational. I pinch myself at how many years I've participated because sometimes i still feel new here. The gallery makes me feel like I belong and I really value that. 

For Fowl Play I submitted older works. 6 bird pieces made during a time when I was still developing my stitched collage work. I had been gifted a book of vintage birds, and a priceless bird book made by a 9 year old boy in 1935. He was the father of a gal I know. These 6 resources for these particular birds are from 1900. All told 40 + pieces of collage art were made at this time.  They have shown in a variety of circumstances, some have sold. I've not shown these 6 yet, which is why I felt that they would be perfect for this year. By design they hang individually but in a grid, a bit like a quilt.

I love the 30 minute trek to Edison. I visit certain places near by and snap an annual image. An "I see you" moment, mostly in the form of a drive by. its just enough of a dose of road trip, familiar and beautiful to have me feel happy. I like that.

I make sure to use the rest room at the gallery. ( art in bathrooms. love. ) 

and to eat a kouign-mann from Bread Farm ( omg )


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Fri, 02 Feb 2024 23:07:49 GMT
FLOORS Series 2023 I took a series much like this once before. I think in 2019.  

( when they come up in my memories again - I will try and copy the image files ) 

I think this could be fun to post annually. 







​​​​​​​FLOOR 7

​​​​​​​FLOOR 8 

​​​​​​​FLOOR 9 

​​​​​​​FLOOR 10


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer Sat, 30 Dec 2023 18:48:22 GMT
Two Openings - 6x6 and TEN by TEN Coming one week from today! I am participating in TWO group exhibits. BOTH open Nov 3rd! 6x6 is local and at Dakota Art Store - Bellingham - its a fundraising event. TEN by TEN is in Chicago at Jackson Junge Gallery

For the 6x6 event I donated two 4x4 moth #collages that are wrapped with a 6x6 tile. Each of these has a small strip of velvet in them. They are an absolute steal for $25. The event is popular, sales are first come first purchase!

For the TEN by TEN I submitted a vintage botanical - this piece was not wrapped, instead i created a backround of strips. It feels like 2 collages in one. The criteria of this exhibit has artists send work that is EXACTLY 10x10. Normally my work which is two sided hangs with a clip at the top.
For this exhibit i had to sew in a string for hanging. My first attempt had it hanging upside down. UGH.

BOTH shows highlight over 300 pieces of art!!

I am delighted and very grateful to end my year this way, considering the medical hoopla now gone by.


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage Illinois karen hanrahan washington Fri, 27 Oct 2023 20:25:16 GMT
Order Your 2024 Amber The Cat Calendar! I am delighted to be offering our 5th Calendar celebrating all things Amber The Cat.

This year the donation aspect of our project is optional. 

When my calendar project began I was feeling grateful for things humane society and how I found my Amber. I wanted to give back in a way that represented how I fell in love with her through my photography. The first 3 years the fundraiser did rather well, but last year sales were down by 50%. The donation I sent was mostly my small bit of profit. 

Am I willing to donate my profits to the humane society? I totally am. It just wasn't very much. 

I chose the print on demand creation model because I wanted someone else to manage hosting calendar stock, product mailers, and treks to the PO. I didn't want to try and figure out online calendar templates. I wanted to work with another human. Someone local and someone who cares. I still feel this is the best way to manage calendar sales. This method is a bit more expensive. 

Below is this years pricing. Preferred payment is PayPal, I take Venmo. I will also accept a check. 

2024 calendar w/tax $22

locals you may pick up or delivery is FREE - thank you Applied Digital!

to ship media mail - least expensive, no tracking. w/tax $31

to ship priority mail - includes tracking. w/tax $35

no first class mail option this year. 

*tax varies from state to state, to keep things simple. The price above applies to any sale in the US.

*the above pricing includes a small profit to pay for set up fee, and photographers time invested

*the above pricing does not include a donation to the humane society


Communicate with me.

Pay me. Give me your mailing address OR Let me know if you can pick it up or want local delivery. I will arrange the rest. 

Amber and I appreciate those of you who have ordered a calendar each year!!

a BIG MEOW of thanks. 

to preview this years Amber image portfolio click here

2024 Cover. "Look how long my tail is mom!" 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) amber the cat calendar cat karen hanrahan photographer washington Sun, 01 Oct 2023 22:32:24 GMT
Pick A Card + Other Gifted Resources In April my friend James sent me an absolute delicious box of gifts + vintage collaging materials. 

Amber loved the packing materials that it all came in! 

he included this absolutely gorgeous blue glass globe. 

i was intrigued by this ring of petrified wood that he had made. i had to send it back. it was unfortunately too heavy and large for me.

Of the collaging materials he sent, one was this memory book. made by norma in the 30's - with all sorts of newspaper clippings, school report cards, and photos. very cute illustrations

the other was this worthingtons annual from 1889 !!!! with over 500 engravings in it. i mean, wow!!

and lastly, this thoughtfully curated scrapbook of all kinds of old playing cards. 

the scrapbook was about to turn to dust. so, i had to dismantle it. i'd say there are at leasts 4 decks of cards here!!

james had pulled a select bit of cards and asked that i make him a few collages

I selected these 7 and made 5x5 stitched pieces for him.

these are the fronts - ready for binding.

my fav being the little blue one

In recent times I made this playing card collage and it sold! I like it whole i think vs 5 sided. what do you think?

I haven't known really how to roll out the entire volume of playing cards that I can make from

The idea PICK A CARD just came to me. I think I will put the cards as I select them ( mostly by what I like and or what appeals to me)  and put them in a separate portfolio. See how interested folks are. 

This is what I photographed at first glance when they all first so very many unique cards!!


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Mon, 03 Jul 2023 20:11:30 GMT
Kidney Series I can't confirm that the stone was there in 2018. But if they found a gallstone in a scan. Surely, a LARGE Staghorn Kidney Stone that filled my entire left Kidney HAD to be visible.

And yet, in 2018 I was only told about the gallstone. 

Prior to this I had no insurance for diagnostics like this. I was without insurance from 1996 until 2015. Care in Illinois before I left was challenging, but once I got to WA. I found caring and curious practitioners.

In 2020 an endocrinologist requested a look at my adrenals. he called me personally to report that the adrenals were fine. Nothing else was said. Past that, no imaging report was shared with me or found in my chart. Turns out that several items of medical interest were found.

Again nobody told me. My kidney stone was part of what was found. 

In 2022 I requested a look at that gallstone. During the ultra sound the tech said, and the kidney stone? I replied, what kidney stone? She then said. OOOPS. 

My doctor responded immediately.

Thus began my current journey. 

Since November '22 I have seen a 1 Urology PA, 2 traveling surgeons. one surgeon disappeared from the clinic. The other said - we can't help you, and referred me to UW in Seattle. 

That was April

In early June, after many many months, I finally met a "he can do something about it" surgeon at UW's Kidney Stone Center.

The minimally invasive high risk procedure is scheduled for June 29th. 


In the meantime my curiousness and anxiety got the best of me 

I found diagrams of kidneys. ( thank you internet ) 

I drew one, drew it incorrectly, i drew another and liked that one. I then drew one more to show where the stone is. see that shaded part in blue? That is a likeness of the location of my staghorn kidney stone

i found a certain comfort and affirmation in the visual.

Sharing my renderings with my friends they sent me other kidney images all remarking on how the shape is found everywhere and how botanical it all is. I loved their sharing. 

I felt inspired to start collaging in the spirit of things Kidney.

I have loved what has since transpired.

I really can't think about anything else.

I expect there will be more to come.

Below some a work in progress. Kidney 1-4


front and backside. 

Kidney/2 - the center is a piece of fabric

Kidney/3 - i will leave all the threads to dangle in this one.

Kidney/4 - the florals in this are also fabric

On June 29th, during pre-surgery prep a test showed positive for Covid. Surgery was cancelled. I sat in pre-surgery for 5 hours trying to score a transport back home. I was then shifted to isolation for another 4 hours. A 14 hour day all told. I had NO Covid symptoms. I tested negative on a home test that day. Negative again 8 days later. I had prepared deeply for a recovery from a surgery I never had. I felt angry and pretty frustrated. At least during the time that I isolated I had a full fridge and a very clean apartment. 

I later made a collage that illustrated things Covid. 

9 days later my surgery was rescheduled to August 17th.

In the meantime I was invited to show my art at a neighborhood festival known as The Sunnyland Stomp by Anna, a just lovely gal who runs a gourmet grocery. Her uniquely located shop Hela Provisions reminds me of the days I worked for a similar type of market back in the days before marriage and children. 

Gotta love the stomp's poster design!

I am honored to be a part of it. 

Join us July 22 from 3-8

All told there are now 8 collages. 

#7 illustrates the variety and number of people on your surgical team

#8 is about the time suck that things medical are

#2,4,6 include bits of fabric

#3 has dangling black threads

#5 made of stone. get it? 

Hela Provisions was a very well attended Sunnyland Stomp stop! Anna really knows how to set up a gig! I loved all the lovely conversations I got to have about my art and how it related to my upcoming kidney surgery. Thank you for all of your well wishes. 

Collage #10 

The woman in the backround is projecting a positive vibe ( wonky star ) for things botanical/things staghorn kidney stone

Scan of Kidney Stone before and after

The surgeon did his best, but there was a potential that not all the stone would be removed. This was my case. He got 97% of it. A separate  laser surgery procedure will remove the rest. That will happen 8 weeks after the initial surgery.

In recovery, a friend brought me a bit of thai chicken curry. i made a mini out of the take out box image. a mini stitched collage is the size of a playing card.

In the meantime a stent was left in. I did this collage to represent the stent. 

Each person responds different to things stent. I did not respond well. at all. As my collage process sometimes goes. I got a new vogue magazine early on in my recovery. i was drawn to certain images and tore them out of the magazine. I set all that aside for a period of time and when I could make a bit of art - this collage piece found me. when complete. I wept. 

A stent is a 10 inch-ish thin plastic tube. It has coils at each of its end. a ureteral stent goes from inside the kidney, down through the ureter and into the bladder. The purpose of the stent is to keep the ureter dilated for any remnant stone passing. My remaining stones are attached to the kidney, as i understand it. There was no real concern for debris to pass. The stent was needed for the following procedure to guide laser instrumentation. 

My stent traumatized my bladder, and caused constant pain and spasm. Pain standing, pain walking, pain sitting, pain driving. It caused hyper desire to urinate and I experienced a clenching that would result in blood in my urine. All for the time I had the stent in me. I realize that this may be a too personal of a sharing but I want to recall this circumstance later. 

In preparing for my next procedure. I made this collage. This will be a day surgery on October 12th. 

My experience at University of Washington's Kidney Stone Center was mostly superb. There were a few circumstances that were not so great, but most of those times were a combination of being human and being a very busy specialized medical center. I believe in sharing and or giving feedback. I have to also comment that I utilized a medical transport service through my insurance and talk about a game changer not to have to manage the commute to Seattle. 

I put together a quick at a glance album of the Kidney Series on my FB page. 

In January 2024 I completed my last and 14th collage for this Kidney Series.  It is 8x8 and stitched.  The center is a piece of fabric. floral, botanical and kidney like, at least to me.

This series now feels complete to me. 

BIG hug and thank you to Anna at Hela Provisions who is hosting this collection permanently. or at least until it has another opening





(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Wed, 07 Jun 2023 18:17:52 GMT
Essence Of Bellingham 2023 I am very excited to share that I was given best of public art - amateur, + an honorable mention in the annual Essence Of Bellingham Contest. This is my first year winning a best of....I always appreciate when there is a mention. I've won something each year since 2016 except for that very first year.

These are printed and displayed in the lobby of city hall. 

These were the two winners.

These were the other 8 that I submitted. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer washington Fri, 02 Jun 2023 06:08:29 GMT
Kids Art Walk 2023 Undiscovered Species Undiscovered Species is the theme this year for Make.Shift's Kids ArtWalk

The group youth student/local artist exhibit opens on Friday's Art Walk through May

My student Rowan from Samish Woods Montessori writes: 

This creature is an alien from an unknown place. It can go without food for decades though it needs water often. In order to get food, it needs to travel down to the mountains of Earth and eat rocks because its home planet has different minerals than Earth. This is the reason it has only been seen once, when it flew over Bellingham to get to Mt. Baker. Its pet peeve: volcanos; too hot to eat, though rocks are good with a little bit of spice. It is solitary.

Student's Art:


My Artist Statement: “Amber The Alien Cat flies down to Mt Baker for its very rare feasting of rocks. The orange topped rocks are extra spicy."

Bellingham self taught creative Karen Hanrahan is middle-aged and owns a cat named Amber. She makes quilt like art with paper. 

Rowans drawing reminded me of my cat. Most of the image resources are from an Amber The Cat Calendar




If this stitched collage art does not sell it will be donated to Rowan and his family. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Wed, 03 May 2023 23:29:03 GMT
Creative Reclamation At Allied Arts Allied Arts of Whatcom County hosts an annual group exhibit that highlights artists that recycle/upcycle within their creative process.

RARE provides a platform for eco-friendly artists to showcase their art created from recycle materials. RARE also promotes art organizations and facilities that incorporate sustainability in their facilities and programs. One of our main objectives for this event is to educate the community on the role that the arts can play in the sustainability movement.

This year’s RARE event will provide an entertaining, socially distanced, environment that showcases pieces from numerous, diverse artists using a variety of recycled materials for a month long exhibit at the Allied Arts Gallery. We invite Exhibiting artists with a passion for art created from recycled materials to become a part of RARE. Attendees are inspired to take home innovative ideas that recognize the value of using resources creatively.

RARE is made possible by many generous business partners.

Sixteen of my 8x8 Bird Stitched Collages are participating! 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Thu, 06 Apr 2023 19:07:17 GMT
11th Annual Invitational FL#CK At Smith And Vallee Gallery Announcing this years theme for the 11th annual Bird Invitational at Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison.


It’s that time of year where all the birds and birders flock to Skagit Valley and into Smith & Vallee Gallery!

My piece this year is a one of a kind stitched collage. Titled: Trussed. 

The exhibit is from Feb 2-26th.

For locals the chicken parade ( wink ) is on at noon on the 26th. 

This group exhibition is a gathering of some of the finest beloved local artists. 

I made two in this style and could not decide which to submit. I put it to a vote and the above won! 

The other sold. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Fri, 03 Feb 2023 18:46:11 GMT
Published In Open Ceilings Literary Magazine Issue After Hours I am absolutely delighted to share that two of my stitched collage art pieces have been published in a student run UC Davis Campus Literary Magazine!

I heard of the open call through a newsletter of an art center that I show annually with.

The Open Ceilings Winter 2023 Publication is titled Open Hours. It is available for purchase. 

This will be Open Ceilings 7th Issue.

The publication has a rigorous curating process.

I submitted a variety of collages and photography. 

See below



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer Sun, 20 Nov 2022 19:13:19 GMT
Powerful Little Things 2022 I am delighted to be included for the second year now in the 3rd annual Powerful Little Things Group Virtual exhibit with Roaring Artist Gallery. 

This year I submitted these lovelies ....

2x4 - ish mini vintage owl stitched collages. very one of a kind. 


Katie - the galleries founder and curator said, "These are fantastic"

She made my day!!

Third Annual Powerful Little Things 

Often when we think of art’s influence on our society, we think of large sculptures, giant murals, and installations.  But anyone with a beloved piece of art on their wall knows that art affects us just as much, if not more, on a personal level.

There is something beautiful about the accessibility of small art pieces that can fit into collectors’ homes and influence their daily lives- and something intimate and exciting about being able to take in the full message of the artist at once!

That’s the power in small art pieces, and that’s what this market and exhibition of artwork sized 24” x 24” and smaller is all about!

We hope you’ll explore our market exhibition in our 3-D Virtual Gallery above and think about who on your holiday list needs a one-of-a-kind gift.  And just as importantly, we hope you’ll consider collecting a powerful little piece for your own wall!






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Fri, 18 Nov 2022 19:37:29 GMT
6x6 at Dakota Art Gallery I last participated in Dakota Arts Gallery's 6x6 fundraiser in 2019. it's great to have it back again!!

The show opens 11/11 and runs through 12/10.

Each piece is priced at $25 and proceeds go to a local charity

I submitted this mushroom stitched collage. The piece was smaller than the required 6x6 tile, so I wrapped another layer to make up the difference. I think doing so added a nice dimensional quality to it. I am also feeling proud of how my work has evolved. This is a good example of that. 

This fundraiser is always a great success!

The event was a success!! My piece sold! This was also the first time I was in a room this full of people since Feb 2020!






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Tue, 08 Nov 2022 18:59:45 GMT
Uncanny Valley At Make.Shift Emily the gallery director at Makeshift invited me to join October's group exhibit. She wrote: The uncanny valley is an interesting phenomenon that happens in our brains when we see something human-LIKE. Key word "LIKE". The thing were looking at will register almost all the way as "human" but not quite and so there is a funny feeling we experience. I think your pieces really fit this :)

"In aesthetics, the uncanny valley is a hypothesized relation between an object's degree of resemblance to a human being and the emotional response to the object. The concept suggests that humanoid objects that imperfectly resemble actual human beings provoke uncanny or strangely familiar feelings of uneasiness and revulsion in observers"

*from wikipedia

Below are the two 18x24 collages from my people project, an ongoing and developing collective of work exploring the topic of people.

The opening for this show is October 7th, 2022 and runs through October






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Thu, 22 Sep 2022 04:16:31 GMT
TEN by TEN Hosted By Jackson Junge Gallery I am absolutely delighted to be participating in a group exhibit with Jackson Junge Gallery. I have a history with this dynamic Chicago gallery and have always felt welcome and at home here. The staff continues to make the exhibiting experience personal. This is the first group show since things pandemic, and it is the largest show of the galleries existence. 

The theme of the show is TEN by TEN, meaning....submit anything you want just as long as it measures EXACTLY 10x10. The art also MUST hang with a wire. 

As many of you know hanging my collage work with a wire is a challenge. My stitched pieces are made a very specific way out of paper. Each piece is finished and two sided. a wire doesn't fit well into that aesthetic. my work is usually hung with mini clips. 

and yet, thanks to the wonderful brainstorming with staff they came up with an alternative to the wire, and a solution that fit into the theme. 



while the solution isn't perfect, after much trial and error...I did it!!

The collage is threaded to hang! 

See the front and back below

In the past I have exhibited photography with this gallery

This is my first time submitting stitched collage work. 

artist statement: I created “parted” originally in 2016 when I was collaging daily. I had just moved to the PNW and landed an unbearable roommate circumstance. The 8x10 collage and other art almost got ruined by moisture while storing in my car. I decided to upcycle the work to see if I could save it and made it in my current stitched crazy quilt like style.

The collage is black and white on the left and brightly colored on the right to show how I've left that bleak circumstance behind me. 2022 is much brighter.

This is what I added to make it the correct size. The piece has a binding to finish the look. It measured a perfect 10x10

Bio: Karen Hanrahan found her way to WA State in her mid-50's after living most of her life in the midwest. She has grown children, a cat, she loves road trips, scratch cooking and anything made out of glass. She lives small in less than 300 square feet and values light, quiet and privacy. She makes quilt like mixed media pieces out of paper. Her materials are gifted or found, which keeps her making very low cost and sustainable. She has been a collage artist for over 25 years. Her collage and photography work has shown in galleries all over the country.  She teaches others the creative subconscious mind collaging process.

The exhibit begins on Sept 27, with an official opening on Oct7th, and will hang until Nov 6th

About this event. CHICAGO— Jackson Junge Gallery presents TEN by TEN, their sixth exhibition of the 2022 season, and very first open-submission group show since the COVID-19 pandemic. The exhibition includes over 100 artists based mostly out of the Chicago area and serves as a celebration of the artists that have worked with the gallery over the past thirteen years along with welcoming new artists the gallery hopes to build relationships with over the coming years.

TEN by TEN is an exhibition for the artists and for the people, with a wide variety of styles and works by both established and emerging artists. In hopes of inspiring new creation, the only prompt given to TEN by TEN artists was a size restriction; everything must be exactly 10”x10” in terms of width and height and be able to hang on the gallery wall with a wire. Most of the pieces in TEN by TEN are new works made in 2022 and range from traditional painting to sculpture that is 20” in depth to quilting and photography.

A welcoming space that truly has something for everyone, Jackson Junge Gallery has always made it part of their mission to carry fine artworks that appeal to a wide variety of clientele and to keep accessible options available. 10”x10” is an extension of this philosophy that the gallery is excited to share with their friends, artists, and patrons as the show includes works with values ranging from under $100 to over $2,000.

Collage of participating artists:





















(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Thu, 22 Sep 2022 03:58:28 GMT
The 2023 Amber The Cat Calendar Is Ready To Order!  

The calendar is here! The 2023 Amber the Cat calendar is here!

Our 4th Calendar.  Can you believe it? YAY!!

Cost $25.00 tax included.

A very generous portion of which is donated to the Whatcom Humane Society.

Not interested in donating? Pay $5 less

Payment: ideally pay pal please - kindly note a payment to a friend/gift has me not pay processing fees, checks are acceptable. 

Calendars are printed on demand. They are stapled. There is an at a glance page for 2024.

I love working with this vendor

Those who live in Bellingham - DELIVERY IS FREE!!

You may also pick it up at your convenience. see address below.

Last year media mail was the least expensive and what most selected. 

Cost to ship is 8.50 - there is no tracking with media mail. takes a bit longer to get to you.

25.00 + 8.50 = 33.50

HOW To Order: 

1. tell me you want one

2. pay me. select friend/gift as to avoid pay pal fees. 

3. When your calendar is ready for pick up or shipped, I will alert you


A HUGE Thank you to Applied Digital Imaging

1803 North State Street

Bellingham, WA 98225


Shop hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.


Calendar Cover Photo 2023. 












(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) amber calendar cat fund raiser karen hanrahan photographer washington Mon, 12 Sep 2022 21:08:34 GMT
Schacktoberfest 2022 I think what I love the most about Schacktoberfest is the absolute blast of the color orange.  The entire gallery is just beaming with orange-ness. It's pretty great. The show includes 1000 blown glass pumpkins that are also a sight to see. 

The large group exhibit opens Sept 8th and runs through October 1st


This year I submitted photography. As a photographer submitting photos means an expense of producing said photo, and then finding a way to present it. I chose to print on aluminum.

Because this gallery is several hours away, I additionally have to pay for shipping not only to the event but for the return shipping should the art not sell. The advantage of metal prints is that they are very light weight which lowers the shipping dollar pretty nicely.

I submitted 2 photos. This urban fallen leaf perspective was chosen. This was taken at the drive-thru of my bank.

The other image I submitted was a leaf on top of a car. I flipped the image. I've done that with other photography in the past, and it is pretty abstract.

A fellow artist suggested that I present the image both upright and flipped next. I really like that idea. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer washington Fri, 02 Sep 2022 18:07:40 GMT
Time Goes By Group Exhibit At Make.Shift The Title Of My Collage is Timelessness


Artist Statement: Timelessness is a feeling where time doesn’t exist. A day goes by at the whim of however it lands. No pressure, no place to go, nothing to do by a certain time. No worries. 

I created this collage using the creative subconscious mind collage process with the topic of the wonder of time in my mind. I selected a few magazines that I thought might have time pieces in it. I looked for persons within those magazines that might be feeling things time. I pulled from these resources for about 10 minutes. I then created this collage from the images I had pulled. When I create this way I have to trust the process. The images pulled seem to guide the creation into its being. I always feel like the inside of me is crafting what it all might mean. I ask where should I stitch and it tells me. I know when to stop, because it lets me know. It will say to me stop. this is your message.  I see in this stitched collage that time is multi-dimensional, that it intersects. I see the pressure and the freedom of time. I see how time becomes you, or pulls at you, I see time telling all, I see when time is no longer in your hands or when time is bigger than all of us. 

exhibit can be found here.

Thank you Make.Shift for this provoking prompt!

This group exhibit will also feature an additional community project titled The Art Of Aging, which includes remarkable portraits by painter Sarah Lane and short recorded interviews of local elders. 



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Thu, 30 Jun 2022 17:35:03 GMT
ARTIST TALK With Roaring Artist Gallery I did a thing in May of 2022 and I just wanted to earmark it here. 

I worried and fussed about what to say

how to say 

and in the end giving an artist talk was rather wonderful. 

I am very grateful to Roaring Artist Gallery for inviting me to speak


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer washington Thu, 02 Jun 2022 20:28:37 GMT
Self Portraiture 2021  

I culled images of myself from my 2021 image library.

I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to say about them.

They have sat in a folder on my desktop since.

Recently, an image that someone else took of me showed up in my memory feed. 

I finally felt like perhaps it was time to write this post.

My friend was going to a nursery and asked me to come along. On the way home I asked her to stop so I could capture this wonderful bit of yellow. She snapped this image of me and I absolutely love it. ( thank you Nancy )

I can't say this about most images taken of me. I usually don't like them. 

Another friend took an image of me on a day trip right before I left IL in 2015. It's another capture that I love of myself. ( thank you Ricky) 

What I love about them is that they are of me in my element. I am unaware that I am being photographed. Which is perhaps what makes me love them. organic and unfussy

Selfies are different. I might look in the mirror and not particularly care for what I see. I would say at this particular juncture of my life I feel pretty uncomfortable in my own skin. I know that there is an accept and love yourself movement out there but it's not happening for me. My confidence of self is pretty low. 

What the camera sees seems to be different. I could go a long while and not take images of me but now I am glad I have them, I am glad that I took the moments to photograph myself. 

Lately I've been taking a year and giving it a description. Like the year I turned 5. That was when my family moved from Canada to the US. Within that move we lived in 3 different places. I have a lot of memories from that year. My earliest memory was when my youngest sister was born. I was 3, and we all got the measles. This memory is very vivid. Some of these memories only recently found me. They were repressed. I have a long list of missing details in my life, mostly because my parents never filled in the blanks or falls into the category of the things we don't say. details unsaid. I am beginning to write down what I recall

In relationship to things 2021 one of my health issues included the disease Rosacea. There is little known about why this skin condition is what it is. It has a variety of forms in which it presents itself and mine was the icky large postule sort. When I had a an outbreak I felt like a leper. The nickel size undergrounders were very very painful. It took most of the year to get to the other side of them. A patient esthetician, a new gentle skin regimen and topical medications turned it around. I took images of when it was really bad but I can't bring myself to share those. I felt grateful for masks in 2021

It was additionally the second Covid year. In 2021 I left the house about twice a month. I stacked my days out and made multiple errands on one day. According to my records I left my home 36 times in 2021. When you put a number to it. It's sortof a dose of reality.

My laptop died in 2020. 2021 is the first full year of images in my new laptops photo library. I could go back into the archive I created for prior years of selfies but it's really a pain.

So, beginning with things 2021 - this is what I have to work with.

Perhaps annually I will see what the year of self offered me. 

Lots of images in 2021 are of my hair. I had decided to let it grow, but I didn't realize how horribly unhealthy it was. Sure it was getting long but when looking back and seeing this first image I realized that I needed to start taking better care of my silver threads. In the mirror with just my eyes I did not see how terrible it had gotten. I just saw long. Many regular and healthy trims plus a shift in hair care products helped me regain better health for my hair. This took time.

covid hairstyles. too funny

during menopause my eyelashes disappeared. sigh. the meds I am now on for glaucoma make the lashes grow. one eye has more lashes than the other. never would have seen that with just my own eyes.

I had a temperature of 102 after my second booster shot

Over the years I have taken many shadow images like these.

I like this self capture. 






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Sat, 28 May 2022 21:35:35 GMT
CUTLERY Solo Photography Exhibit At Quick Silver Photo It was an honor to be invited to present a solo show of my photography at Quick Silver Photo Lab. This was in 2019. A strategize session on Valentines Day with Cate in 2020 went very well, complete with a delicious slice of cake across the street at Pure Bliss.

But then, know. Things Covid happened. 

So... here we are into 2022 and my solo show is now happening! 

The theme is Cutlery. 

While it is a revised version of what I originally thought I'd present, I am super excited about it

Artist Statement: Here is the game I play. One may wash dirty cutlery only AFTER the last clean spoon has been used. Allow said “wash me” cutlery to assemble ever so artfully on the bottom of reflective stainless steel sink. Pause occasionally to observe random, pleasant and rather artful arrangements of forks, spoons and knives. Post an image of “oh look at that.” observation on Instagram. 

I began social distancing long before the pandemic. I am very good at the blur of lost time and nothingness. I treasure home and it’s subtle visual celebrations. Is a collection of dirty cutlery at the bottom of my kitchen sink pandemic behavior? Not really. It’s more about me avoiding the task of washing them. It’s the quirky part of me. Or a little game I play to avoid tedious day to day tasks.

The work before you is a collaboration between myself and Cate at QuickSilver Photo. Our goal was to highlight similar themed photography with different types of photo processing. 

Bio: Karen Hanrahan found her way to WA State in her mid-50's after living most of her life in the midwest. She has grown children, a cat, she loves road trips, scratch cooking and anything made out of glass. She lives small in less than 300 square feet and values light, quiet and privacy. 

Karen thought of herself as a closet creative for most of her life. To her, that meant she wasn’t officially an artist.  As of late, Karen is out of the closet creatively and feels like an artist each and everyday! She is captivated by the image stories around her. This has her taking way too many photographs! Self taught, and utilizing a simple point and shoot camera, Karen works intuitively. Her image capturing style is described as organic, up close, and authentic. Most say that her images are narrative. She likes that! 

Karen also makes quilt like mixed media pieces out of paper. Her materials are gifted or found, which keeps her making very low cost and sustainable. While she has been a collage artist for over 25 years, it wasn’t until 2016 that she began to show and sell her work. Both her photography and collage work has shown in galleries all over the country. Karen teaches others the creative subconscious mind collage process. 

Below is how we decided to represent the collection:

Framed Poster - 20x24

Framed 11x14 on Washi Paper - More and more artists are turning to digital printing as a part of their production, and so are looking for more interesting surfaces to print on than the standard digital papers available. Washi can be that surface. The subtle liveliness of the fibre shows through the ink with softer results, and because washi is generally more absorbent than western papers the paper and ink appear integrated rather than the ink sitting on the surface. 

Shadow Box Framed - 8x8 Metal

4x6 Prints For Sale







(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer washington Sat, 28 May 2022 18:09:42 GMT
Kaleidoscope Of Color - Group Exhibit At Allied Arts Center I am thrilled to have been selected to participate in a group exhibit titled "Kaleidoscope Of Color" at Allied Arts Center.

I submitted a portion of my people project or the 8x8 stitched collages that I call Portraiture Within A Boundary.

Portraiture Within A Boundary:  Deconstructed faces are puzzled into a specific space. They assemble themselves accordingly. Often, especially after trauma, lines are drawn. A person may execute a divide as a method of self protection. This is my dynamic, this is how I portray myself, this is what I want you to see. Or this is what I keep to myself. 

The Technique: I apply crazy quilt style technique but with paper. I border each subject with 1/2 strips. I fill in the rest of the dimension with 1 inch strips. I then machine stitch in zig zag to secure design and to embellish the patterns. Each piece is bound. Much like a quilt is. No two collages are alike. It took me over a year to perfect this particular collage style. As things pandemic continued. I made art for the sake of the calm it provided me. I latched onto an 8x8 dimension for my work.  The limitations felt reliable and safe.

About the Artist:  Washington based artist Karen Hanrahan, works with found magazine pages to narrate the challenges of her life into a collage format. Her self taught multi-disciplinary work expresses her tenacious spirit by processing personal topics such as rape, loneliness, trauma and poverty. Karen’s work is acknowledged as organic, intimate and visually engaging. She has exhibited in Chicago, Seattle and Bellingham. 

How these hang when grouped together like a quilt.

The works of the other artists.




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Sat, 28 May 2022 17:36:03 GMT
Kids Art Walk: Biome Sweet Biome  

Let's make some art! "Biome Sweet Biome" will be the fourth annual collaboration between Make.Shift Art Space and two local Montessori elementary schools, Cedar Tree Montessori and Samish Woods Montessori. 4th, 5th and 6th grade students have imagined their own biomes- they then paint and write about them to give a full picture. These pieces will be interpreted by local artists and each artist's "response piece" will be displayed next to the student painting that inspired it.


My student artist this yearwas Finn, he wrote... "This is my biome! I put a castle in it because I think castles are really historical and cool. I put Ada, mom, dad, me (my family) in the doorway of the castle because they are super important to me. I made a special stage for Drake because he is my favorite singer. He has a great voice. I made lots of grassy hills because I think it would be fun to roll down them! That’s my biome for you!"


Artist: Karen Hanrahan /she

Title: Finn’s Biome

Medium: stitched collage

Price: $75

Gift to student artist if not sold


Bio: Karen Hanrahan found her way to WA State in her mid-50's after living most of her life in the midwest. She has grown children, a cat, she loves road trips, scratch cooking and anything made out of glass. She lives small in less than 300 square feet and values light, quiet and privacy. She makes quilt like mixed media pieces out of paper. Her materials are gifted or found, which keeps her making very low cost and sustainable. She has been a collage artist for over 25 years. Her work has shown in galleries all over the country.  She teaches others the creative subconscious mind collaging process.


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Sun, 01 May 2022 18:24:22 GMT
Essence Of Bellingham 2022  

These are the 10 images that I selected this year for Essence Of Bellingham.  

I will update this post in a month if I am awarded. 

UPDATE :: May 2022. The image below was given an honorable mention. yay!! The city shared that they will be displaying those awarded from 2020 - 2022 at city hall this year. All images are archived at Whatcom Museums Photo Archives. 55 Photos rec'd awards out of 315 submissions. 

here are former years, if you feel curious.

* 2016 - no blog post






These are some of what I didn't select but what I captured as potential to submit. 

I liked the two season representation of these

and the saga of a curbside chair. 

to quote my kids when they were visiting. "what could she possibly be taking a photo of?"

It was this.

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan photographer Sun, 01 May 2022 17:40:01 GMT
Audacity With Roaring Artist Gallery I submitted to a call for art with Roaring Artist Gallery, with the theme title of Audacity. The call for art was juried by Artist Martin Lee Martinez. 

I personally resonated with their prompt: 

"Claiming space in the Art World requires scrappiness, tenacity, and… AUDACITY! So often, the path of women artists is nonlinear and unconventional, and we want to celebrate this! Audacity explores the concept of the “self-taught artist.”  But since no one is entirely “self-taught” we're interested to hear YOUR interpretation of the meaning as it relates to YOU and YOUR approach to art making. Are you an artist who was unable to shoulder the financial obligation of higher education? Did you have a later start to your creative pursuits, because an art education was “off-limits?” Have you earned a photography degree, but have found yourself working in fiber arts? If you see within your path that space where you had the audacity to push aside “imposter syndrome” and create regardless, then we can't WAIT to see what you have to ROAR!"

The show opens virtually April 1st. 2022 

Click HERE to view the virtual exhibition

28 Artists are participating. 

I was one of 9 artists invited to give an Artist Talk!! Wow! I can't even believe it. Katie, the gallery founder and curator wrote about how they select those artists and shared that she "generally compares notes with the juror whose art and stories stood out to us"  The artist talk slot that I selected will be on Mothers Day. May 9th. More on that later

UPDATE - Here is the YouTube link to my artist talk if you'd care to listen!!

I journaled quite a bit about this one. The topic brought up a lot about my upbringing and how I was educated. It brought up a lot of not so great memories and limitations. I decided not to go there with my submit and instead focus on something I did in recent times that I taught myself. That I am still teaching myself, and that I am proud of.

Here is what I wrote: 

I taught myself how to make wonky stars this year. I perfected a form of crazy quilting the year before after months and months of trial and error. I learned how to bind with a background, the year before that. What makes all of this so remarkable is I did all of this quilt like making with paper! It all began when I was trying to make paper art that would hang and appear finished looking without a frame. I was beginning to participate in exhibits and the cost and storage of frames was too much for my budget and very tiny space living. 

I stumbled upon an example of a wonky star in a YouTube tutorial dive. My first attempt warmed my heart. I loved the asymmetry, the wonky, the mismatched of it. It felt honest and authentic. It made me want to play. 

I’ve produced a prolific volume of paper art. Especially in the last 5 years. That work has had multiple expressions. Adding machine stitching to my collage work was definitely a feat of self instruction. Making wonky stars within that realm is still a work in progress, but in 2021 I definitely made a dent in learning that process. Applying quilting techniques to paper is the quilter wanna be in me. I will admit that real quilting with fabric intimidates me. But with paper, I feel rich with resources and able. 

I studied art and I attended art school, but there is no degree. I had abilities, but I had no idea what to do with them. I put aside my creativity to marry and raise children. The artist in me was there, but she again had no idea what to do with that all of that sensibility. My life has been a path of fits and starts, trauma and heartbreak, pain and drama. I believe that surviving in life nudged me to make. For those that know me they say that I am resilient.The audacity to create with “signature” took me time to find. I had to learn to not compare and to make art for myself. 

These two wonky star stitched collages are titled flight. They speak to the feeling of fight or flight or the stress response. During a particular rough patch of life I had finally found safety. I realized that in those years I barely took a breath. I never stopped fighting. I was in flight for a very very long time. I had to learn to breathe again.

The gallery selected the first one

here is my first wonky star attempt. (which I just love) Talk about wonky!

second attempt - I went more traditional and stitched it like quilters do. very tedious, and not very exact.


third attempt - I decided that cutting or my own way was a better way to go. I thought to myself...I like this!

many attempts and many versions later. these are the wonky stars I made. 

they may seem simple but they are tricky. they fool you!!

I am still perfecting!



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Tue, 29 Mar 2022 19:49:09 GMT
Vintage Collages Join RARE Exhibit Rare is the Recycled Art and Resource Expo hosted by Allied Arts Gallery

It runs for the entire month of April 

Open T-SA from 11-4

This is a beloved annual event and my first time participating.

RARE provides a platform for eco-friendly artists to showcase their art created from recycle materials. RARE also promotes art organizations and facilities that incorporate sustainability in their facilities and programs. One of our main objectives for this event is to educate the community on the role that the arts can play in the sustainability movement.

This year’s RARE event will provide an entertaining, socially distanced, environment that showcases pieces from numerous, diverse artists using a variety of recycled materials for a month long exhibit at the Allied Arts Gallery. We invite Exhibiting artists with a passion for art created from recycled materials to become a part of RARE. Attendees are inspired to take home innovative ideas that recognize the value of using resources creatively.

RARE is made possible by many generous business partners.

Below are the three 8x8 stitched collages that I selected to be a part of this group event.

The back story is that I was gifted this wonderful stack of reference books. Not all of them were a fit for me, and quite a few of them I found new homes for.  

I have really enjoyed tearing apart what was left.

The book on travel in Japan is from 1960 ( the year I was born ) 

1" strips from a seed catalog matched the retro color pallet perfectly 

These are bound with a paper frame or binding much like a quilt.

outside of the thread and glue, the materials are recycled

here are the 8 that I made in June of 2021




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 23 Mar 2022 23:11:22 GMT
Vintage Valentines To my delight, I was gifted this bundle of vintage valentines.

I had such a wonderful time creating with them!

I love how individual and unique each 8x8 stitched collage is!

For a few of them I embroidered on the back

These two vintage ladies I think would pair well framed. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Sun, 13 Feb 2022 20:02:19 GMT
The Birds At Smith And Vallee Gallery MANY of the resources that I collage with are gifted to me. This is true of the birds I made this past fall in preparation for this years invitational at Smith And Vallee Gallery in Edison.

My daughter sent me some vintage National Geographic Magazines and one of them published in 1977 had this article about James Audubon. I bet you can imagine my gasp when I turned the page to this tremendous Great Cinereous Owl!! Or to the other remarkable examples of his paintings. These fantastic image references made for a fun and deep dive into this years collection of stitched bird collages. 

I had also altered some pages ...another National Geographic project. Combining that chemically altered paper into my strip pallet, I found that the owl and others came together just beautifully. 

This other Audubon print was also a gift. I had so much fun making it into 12x12 stitched collage. I love the vintage feel of it. 

In the end I could not decide which to submit to the invitational so I put it to a vote. The owl won! Closely followed by the doves. 

I love driving the mini road trek to Edison. Each time I try and revisit some of my favorite spots, and as art was making its way into the gallery on drop off day, I took a few photos of some favorites.

100 artists participate in this annual bird themed invitational. Participating always has me feel like I belong or that I am part of something. 

If is a link to last years BIRDS

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 09 Feb 2022 20:12:03 GMT
Portfolio 2022 Photography

Collage From Journals or Workshops

Stitched Collage 

Solo Touring Installations - Inspirit Form, Singularity, Project Catwalk

Stitched Birds 2020, 2021

purple martinpurple martinpurple martin wood thrushwood thrushwood thrush tufted tit mousetufted tit mousetufted tit mouse SOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babies

Currently Developing:  The People Project: 18 x 24, 9x12, 8x8 (stitched)


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer Mon, 17 Jan 2022 22:01:54 GMT
Step By Step Creative Subconscious Collage Process I photographed a step by step narrative of the creative subconscious collage process during my 01/02/2022 new moon session. 

1. you need a magazine, scissors and glue stick

2. a journal helps, if needed cut a backing for your collage so that it can fit into your journal - this was a 6x6 square. 

3. set the timer for 5 minutes and flip through your magazine. remember to allow images to choose you.

4. set aside the pages you've torn out. these and only these are what you will create your collage with. I had 7 pages here. I used all of the pages but one.

5. set the timer for 20-30 minutes. cut or tear as you see fit. pairings and the way things fit together seem to find their own way. for example that eye needed to be inside that piece of arched pink. consider a background to help pull the variety of pieces together. 

6. finish the piece by glueing any loose edges down and trimming sides if needed. 

7. Take a picture of your collage. While it's in front of you, decide what you think you see within your collage. Bring words to it by writing in your journal. 

8. I wrote in my journal. "I am centered. I love where my creative winds will take me. I look forward to teaching and the long term projects I have plans for in 2022"   Part of my "prompt" was reading about the opposing forces that might be ahead. my desire for order and my desire for quiet. I was inspired by the writings of friend who said that we all have light within us. I want to share my knowledge with others

9. What do you see within my collage? 

* It is not necessary to do more. I personally am compelled to stitch my work because as an artist that's my creative aesthetic. I also added a washi tape border. I am experimenting with photo corners to hold my collage in place in my journal. what do you think? 

For those new to my world, this is my studio space and my cat amber



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan teacher Wed, 05 Jan 2022 21:45:46 GMT
Curbside When the pandemic hit in the beginning of 202O many of my friends where picking their groceries up curbside. Unfortunately those of us who used food stamps were not able to process payment for that service. At least where I was shopping. and so, I shopped in person, in a crowded store, wearing my mask, and experiencing much angst. panic attack angst. and while I perfected the 2 week shop and even once I did a 28 day shop ( don't ask me how), the task of shopping for groceries was epic, exhausting and very frustrating. 

In June of 2020, all of that changed. EBT payments were accepted! I fell in LOVE with curbside pick up. Like it CHANGED my life. I guess in these times we all have to find the joy somehow!

At first my snapping a photo of my pick up number was a way to celebrate this remarkable event. I kept taking images each time into the following year. 

Here is 2021, at curbside. 

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) karen hanrahan narrative pandemic photographer Wed, 05 Jan 2022 20:48:36 GMT
You Are Invited To Collage With Karen In 2022 Dear dear creative friends,

I wanted to reach out to you and tell you how much I loved hosting the Collage With Karen sessions this past year.  I loved it SO much I want to do again in 2022. 

YOU are invited!! 

The four seasonal sessions seemed just enough. The email method worked splendidly. Subscribing for the year gave participants a chance to commit to a creative opportunity, without my having to manage payments for sessions.

*the creative subconscious collage process

The price will remain the same and just like last year - I’ll offer a discount opportunity early January! I will also offer an additional discount if you bring a friend.

Here are some comments from 2021:

“I'm truly grateful to be in your inbox and to be engaged in interactive creativity in mind, spirit and paper”

“This process always affirms the value of tapping into the subconscious to me.”

“It makes my heart smile to feel rooted for/supported in this way.”

“This has so helped me in process, contentment, discipline and joy.

Thank you dear friend, confidant and teacher.”

“This collage was SO needed for me right now. That's what I love about the timing of these. They are always right at the exact perfect moment to receive what I most need from that prompt in the season.”

“Thank you for doing this and for your patience with those of us who sometimes just.... can’t.”

“This process has enriched my life.”

*my collages from the 2021 sessions. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington Wed, 15 Dec 2021 19:31:08 GMT
POP UP at Social Fabric In September, Renee- owner of Social Fabric invited me to participate in a holiday pop up! Myself and a select few others will be vending. You will find Social Fabric inside this Bay Street Village building at the corner of Prospect and Holly. I have a truly lovely history with Social Fabric. They have hosted me twice for solo exhibits and such and one of my photographs is used for the branding of their newsletter! It tickles me pink every time I see it. One thing I can say about Social Fabric. I always feel very celebrated!

I made an assortment of cards, and very unique, one of a kind stitched collage art for the event!! 

Find us this weekend 11/26-27 and next 12/3-4

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Fri, 26 Nov 2021 18:47:49 GMT
FAQ Information about my creative subconscious collage workshops are here

I now offer "Collage with Karen" sessions. I developed them during things pandemic. It's a subscribe only style workshop. I run them via email four times a year. Currently by invitation.

My art work has developed and expanded very organically. There might be a better way to organize it all, but that is not where I want to spend my time. I do share in a variety of places.

Below is my way of trying to explain where.

You are currently at my website. The blog posts here are written much like a resume and go back all the way to 2013. Photographs at my website are assembled often as a project or something in progress. 

Facebook. I have a personal profile. I have an artist page. I have a wellness page. These social media places and I have been together since 2007. There are MANY, way too many many albums. If you tell me what interests you I can provide a more specific and directive link. Please let me do that for you. I know the volume is and can be overwhelming. 

Instagram. My IG feeds into FB, but each platform has a very different vibe. Images in my instagram feed are taken with my tablet. I welcome you to any of these platforms. Thank you for following me. 

Art purchasing happen spontaneously mostly within social media platforms. For payment I accept PayPal, cash and check. The preferred way to communicate with me is via email. Fill in my contact form here for a prompt reply.

Find my work at The Lucky Dumpster in Edison, WA and at Brazen Shop + Studio in Bellingham, WA

I hope this is helpful!










(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 17 Nov 2021 21:32:55 GMT
Birds of 2021 The 2021 Bird Collages are ready for release!

This year they vary in size. All were made with gifted bird image resources by John James Audubon. ( print, and 1977 National Geographic Magazine. These also include papers that I chemically altered, and strips from a masterpiece art book. Some have brown vs black stitching. 

See #3 in the 12th annual Bird Invitational "The Birds" in February at Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison, WA

#6 is sold. 

If interested in bird work from 2020. Much of it sold, but I am happy to direct you to what is available for purchase. Here is a portfolio link 

2021 Birds

1. Carolina Turtle Dove 12x12

2. Chuck Wills Widow 10x14

3. Great Cinereous Owl 10x14

4. Greated Footed Hawk 6x6

5. Icelandic or Jer Falcon 7x10

6. Mockingbird and Snake 8x8

7. Passenger Pidgeon 10x13




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan sunshine washington Wed, 17 Nov 2021 21:03:42 GMT
Powerful Little Things 2021 I am tremendously honored to be juried into Roaring Artist Gallery's Second Annual Powerful Little Things. This virtual art market and group exhibit opens 11/18 and stays open until 01/10.

While not officially a represented artist at this gallery I have shown three times with them this year in open calls for art. I feel immensely grateful when selected. 

Katie - founder of Roaring Artist Gallery wrote this: 

Today is American Thanksgiving and, once we've all emerged from our turkey dinners (or cranberry and vegan sausage stuffing for those of us vegetarians. Reach out if you're as sure as I am that you need that recipe!) it's time to shop! We all know Black Friday, but I've been overjoyed in recent years at how so many people have embraced Small Business Saturday!

I'm not a huge shopper, personally, but I do love gift-giving. It's my love language, and as soon as November rolls around, you'll find me sitting happily in my Christmas leggings, poring over my Christmas list spreadsheets, humming “Jingle Bells” under my breathe.  However, the more I work toward championing women (my personal mission as well as the mission of Roaring Artist Gallery), the more I realize how important it is that we put our money where our values lie.  And since I believe that, I dedicate 70% of my gifting budget every year to spend at primarily women-owned small businesses- including artists!  

At Roaring Artist Gallery, we produce our “Powerful Little Things” Exhibition just in time for the holidays.  It's an exhibition of small (24" x 24" and smaller) artworks, perfect for starting an original art collection for your loved ones- or yourself!  And if you're already a collector, we hope to introduce you to awesome artists you might not have known, as well as showing you some of the more accessible pieces from our own represented artists.  You can see some of these pieces below, and we hope you'll click through and visit our 3-D Exhibition!   All of the art in this exhibition can be viewed and purchased on the Powerful Little Things show page in the Show Catalog.


This time I submitted these fun 6x6 (inch) stitched collages made with vintage old maid cards

8 all told.

I have created quite a bit this year in "series" as a way of offering a collection of pieces that compliment each other. These are a very good example of that.  

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Wed, 17 Nov 2021 20:06:17 GMT
The 2022 Amber The Cat Calendar is NOW ready to order! The calendar is here! The 2022 Amber The Cat calendar is here!

( note: some images in this post are for promotion only, they are not in the calendar )

For the third year now, I am celebrating my cat AMBER with another calendar and donating a % of sales to our local humane society where I found her.

Calendars are printed on demand at Applied Digital Imaging

This means I am not paying upfront for calendars and or managing shipping and handling. 

Price is the same. $24.99 - tax included. YAY!

The above price does NOT include shipping. 

LOCALS - pick up is FREE! 

Customers must wear a mask, and curbside pick up can be arranged.

Get this - Local delivery is also an option and FREE!

How great is that!

Let me give you the shipping options/prices:

FREE Local pick up or delivered 24.99

USPS Priority Mail Flat Mailer 24.99 + 10.45 = 35.44

USPS First Class Mail 24.99 + 7.80 = 32.79

USPS Media Mail 24.99 + 6.94 = 31.93 - no tracking, 7+ days transit time

NOT interested in donating to the humane society??? Subtract $5

If you are out of the country. then costs are based on weight and zipcode (for example: shipping to prague is $16.04, no tracking. 2020 pricing)

The calendar is stapled. The folding at the staples is improved. Dark grid lines are present. Moon phases are now included, along with the correct holidays dates. 

( for those who are repeat customers both Ben and I are so sorry about what happened last year. ) 

Calendar includes a 2023 year at a glance page.

A % of ALL sales are donated to Whatcom County Humane Society.

If you are not interested in donating. The calendar cost is $20.00. 

Want one?  THIS is the Process: 

1. TELL ME you want one. 

2. Select your shipping option if not local. Pay for your calendar (pay pal is preferred. Check is ok) Give me your mailing address.

3. When a calendar is ready for pick up or shipped, I will alert you

HUGE thank you to my friend Ricky who helped me get multiple images into one image file for this years calendar.

 and to Ben at Applied Digital Imaging

1803 North State Street

Bellingham, WA 98225

During Phase 2, we are opening the lobby (masks required) and continuing to offer curbside service by request. We offer free Local Pickup and Delivery. A variety of shipping options are also available.

Shop hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist calendar cat karen hanrahan photographer washington Tue, 28 Sep 2021 21:27:51 GMT
A Watercolor Painting By Elizabeth Gray a cool thing happened that I wanted to be sure to make note of here at my blog.

A self taught Australian water color artist named Elizabeth Gray messaged me after she had done a google search. She found one of my photographs that had been in a group show in Chicago. She respectively asked permission to paint it.

She shared that this painting was quite the challenge for her, even causing her a panic attack along the way. What she ended up painting turned out to be really beautiful!

This story and her other work can be found on Instagram.

Her google search was "upside down crow" inspired by a quote. I love how random her find was. All I can say is keep painting Elizabeth!

the image below is a screen shot of what she painted. I mean wow. right? 





(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer Thu, 23 Sep 2021 22:23:12 GMT
Schacktoberfest 2021 The Schack Art Center in Everett is hosting a FALL-tastic group art show. Two of my bird pieces were juried into this beloved autumn themed event. Other happenings include an art auction and an artist pumpkin patch. You can also blow your own glass pumpkin by appointment!

The show opens 9/23 and runs through Nov 6th. I am absolutely delighted to be included! 

Specific details are here.

8x8 Stitched Collages. 


UPDATE: I took a day trek and visited the Schack Art Center to celebrate my birthday. The drive is an hour each way. It was a gorgeous fluffy white cloud warm autumn day.

My work was in a tall glass case right next to the door when you walk in.

Whenever I attend group shows I always try and select a piece or two, or three that really speak to me.

1. section of an impressive resin piece. Kimberly Leo

2. graphite rendering on bristol.  J. Gordon

3  monoprint with stitching. Maren Oates

4. oil pastel on "worried' paper bag. organic looking. very cool. hung with a magnet

5. a moon surrounded by doodling, just part of it

6. fun mural outside

The collection of glass pumpkins was vast, impressive and so so very colorful. 

I guess this is what the highway looks like late afternoon on a Friday. ugh.



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 22 Sep 2021 20:49:17 GMT
NEW at Brazen Shop and Studio Fall 2021 we have updated two original collages into the 11x14 frames. these are now for sale. 

gosh, i love how they look framed. 

the perspective series is now framed and they look so so very awesome!

other prints and cards and stickers are still available for purchase

karen and allison shared that their super tiny boutique hosts 70 vendors now!

I am delighted and honored to be one of them!

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 08 Sep 2021 16:36:18 GMT
HOPE a virtual group exhibit with Roaring Artist Gallery I am super excited to have had two jurors select my collage for the HOPE exhibit opening September 1 - October 31st, 2021! 

This will be my second showing with Roaring Artist Gallery.

The first show was Connections.

I am loving how this particular gallery is becoming

The virtual model is very unique.

This is a large group exhibit

I made this collage in 1999.

It is an early piece, meaning something I made when I first began to collage.

It's very meaningful

I've always called it HOPE

Be sure to message me if you want to sign up for my Collage with Karen workshops. 

Artist statement: 

Over 20 years ago I learned a creative subconscious collage process that changed my life. I made a collage that gifted me a sense of hope in the most unexpected way. 

I was riding what seemed like an endless wave of good fortune. Into the new year my circumstances collectively were the complete opposite. I felt despair. I wanted my good fortune bubble back. 

I belonged to a creative group who met on Monday mornings. We practiced the creative subconscious mind process and collaged together. On one particular Monday I declared myself a non-participant. I was having a hard time and didn’t feel like making a collage. My mentor thought otherwise. She told me to prompt with the color blue for my very bad “blue” mood. Reluctantly, I pulled images that spoke blue to me and assembled accordingly. This collage brought me to tears. I saw pearls of wisdom and seeds that became flowers. The branch grounded its becoming. Lace represented blossoming or an actual flower. To the side of the flower is the gill of a shark. It suggests an opportunity to breath. This assemblage was my subconscious mind inspiring me. It was telling me that everything will work itself out. It offered me a sense of hope

I thought a lot about the prompt for this call for art. In current times I make many collages and while some might have  fit into the category of hope, this elder collage is where it all began. I kept coming back to it as my piece to submit. A few years after this collage was made I began teaching this process to others. In the 20 + years since, the collage work created utilizing the subconscious mind process continues to offer insight and hope to its creator. 

Dimensions: 11.5 x 16 

Medium: collage




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Thu, 26 Aug 2021 05:13:45 GMT
Process - Crazy Quilting Style I thought I might share a bit of collage process with you.  The first two are in true what I call crazy quilting style form. I perfected this quilt technique to paper after a year of trial and error. The third collage illustrates one of my recent collage with me classes. speaking of, if you ever want to collage with me. please let me know! I'd love to collage with you! 

This Audubon print was a gift. gosh, I love that folks think of me with these great vintage finds. 

The hardest part was deciding which part of it would make good focal points. note the 5 sided centers. 

I had also been given this huge book of masterpiece paintings. 

which made for an amazing opportunity for a selection of strips.

lately, in an effort to stay organized I have been putting projects in these poly sleeves. 

I ended up with two collages with that bird print. one is a 12 x 12, which is I think the largest size I feel comfortable working in. and an 8x8, which has been my go to size for most of 2021. The strips for both of these includes masterpiece paintings strips, floral strips from the original print and even a moment of ribbon!! Another added layer that I am just loving is a blast of color made with washi tape on the exterior of the center focal. I think it mimics an inner matt or something you would see in formal framing. Lastly, of course is the machine zig zag. I've been using this very delicious heavier weight of thread and a much tinier stitch. you can really see the difference that the stitching makes. 

The second piece I want to share was a "for" someone making. Here you see the beginnings of a 4x6 collage. The center image is 5 sided and is outlined with bright yellow washi tape. strips were cut from a glittery zinnia postcard, and a seed catalog.

I felt inspired by a local farmer here who has become an international star. A documentary about their story filled me with its beauty, sensitivity and hope. I watched it twice, sobbing... twice! I took pages and pages of notes. The gushy fan in me had to share a bit of my heart in return. making this small collage felt like a thank you to them. I sent it, one of my small notecards and a way too long fan letter. The farm sent me an email acknowledging what I had sent, which totally made my day.

To complete a piece I add a heavier card stock to give the collage some weight and I add a border or what they call in quilting terms a binding to the piece to give it a finished look. This binding is made from a backing which is basically a sheet of magazine cut larger than the collage and then folded over with mitered corners. Here it is now bound and stitched

My last share for today was a collage I made during a collage with me session. I am now doing these sessions quarterly. Folks subscribe. I send a prompt through email and my students participate whenever is a best fit for them. Amber of course loves it when I teach!

( I think this photo should be part of the 2022 Amber The Cat Calendar. shhhhh don't tell anyone) 

In a creative subconscious collage session one sets aside 5 minutes and flips through a resource - like a magazine or picture book. The idea is to let the images speak to you as you page through. when the time is up, you then have a pile of images that you are to work from.

You then set the time again for 30 minutes and assemble - often the images will find their own way and speak to you. This definitely happened for me with this collage.

My compulsion to create in this crazy quilting style is real. morphing the bird with the man completely made sense. the bird is a version of myself resisting aging. the man is laughing not at me, but with me, reminding me to lighten up a bit. to not take life so seriously. I then added strips of grey. it felt bleak to me so I added the strips of color, although a blur of color - they too made sense, In the bottom right corner are items on a shelf all in a row. what I need sometimes to feel a sense of order and safety. at the bottom are fluffy clouds. the stuff dreams are made of. Making with a timer encourages you to make and to not fuss. to follow your instincts.

When I teach this process I advocate NOT using words within a creative subconscious mind collage.  I feel words fit well in vision or dream boards or in journals. words fit well in memes or in advertising. For me I want the images to speak. not the words. In my collage journals words do find me. and I set aside a page in the back for all the words. In this particular session the word brains would not leave me alone. so....I gave it space, on the back of my collage 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 11 Aug 2021 22:46:24 GMT
Christmas In July 2021 I love holiday cards. Do you?  ( perhaps I love holiday mail. actually I love mail anytime ha!! ) I love gifting a holiday greeting to others. When I first moved west I had to give up that gesture. I hated that. I feel like sending holiday cards is a lost tradition. I have always kept about 3 years or so of cards received, and I often separate a special card or two and use them as decor in my home, but I've had to streamline things that I store. So, I decided to cut apart the cards I had, keeping only the prior year with the intent of collaging with them in July. Thus, my Christmas in July project.

Last year I dabbled with this holiday theme a bit.


This piece became my greeting for 2020. I liked that it celebrated winter

This one I used as an image file to have cards printed as thank you notes. 

These crazy Santa ones from one of my photographs are all gone. Each was one of a kind. Sold out. 

This year so far I've made a batch of 4x6 stitched crazy quilt style tops. These are upcycled from the cut up Christmas cards I mentioned above. I've not clipped the threads or bound them. The top can be added to a notecard, or finished to become a stand alone bit of holiday art. each is one of a kind and takes about 90 minutes each to make. note the tighter zig zag. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) art artist christmas collage holiday karen hanrahan washington Sat, 17 Jul 2021 20:41:26 GMT
Lets Collage About Retro Travel In Japan I was gifted a super great stack of books to tear apart, many of them retro. gotta love how my amber gets in on the action. 

I began working with this particular "Let's Travel in Japan" book from 1960

I made eight 8x8 stitched collage pieces. 

I pulled items of interest for center focal points, and then made strips from the many pages of muted browns and greens, I then pulled some color pop from a seed catalog. All 8 are made this way, which makes them very complimentary to each other.

All but one have a strip of ribbon. 

a bit ago I decided to stop completing collages.

what that means is the collage is unfinished

in quilting terms these would be called quilt tops.


A finished collage has a card stock layer and is bound. Binding makes it appear as if it is framed and gives each piece a finished back side that isn't just stitching. 

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 16 Jun 2021 17:22:56 GMT
Portraiture Within A Boundary Portraiture Within a Boundary 

or at least that is what I will call these for now.

12 8x8 stitched collages within the theme of portraiture.

I've left these unfinished or without a binding.

I could keep going with this theme

they are really fun to make, some were actually rather challenging

It's really nice to see them all in a row!!








(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Sat, 22 May 2021 17:57:17 GMT
Essence Of Bellingham 2021 These two were given 2021 honorable mention. 

my portfolio of local images from this last year was definitely suffering from things pandemic. I usually have more to choose from.

errands/outs and about in 2020 were truly few and essential. 

these were the ten I submitted to this years essence of bellingham:

I enjoy the process of deciding which 10 to submit. 

I will know in June if any were acknowledged in prize

here is the rest of the images that I deemed valid to enter:

there were 4 curbside couches this year.

and lots and lots of graffiti.

this one is by Matt French. 

These three were selected last year for honorable mention.

Because of things covid there was no display of them in city hall. 




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) bellingham karen hanrahan photographer washington Thu, 08 Apr 2021 18:22:05 GMT
Kids Art Walk 2021 - Machines at MakeShift Gallery This years annual kids art walk will be virtual. 

I was paired with a Montessori student named Sophie

The group exhibition is hosted by Make.Shift Gallery in May. 

The theme is MACHINES.

Sophie wrote this prompt:

Plastic, shiny, glossy and smooth, the Spitoilink drone deck is rootbeer brown and wonderful. It has the polished look of a Lego. The wand and wand holder are gnarled like a real tree branch. At the end of the wand there is a luminous red button The hologram is the color of the hologram you bought. It is held up by a wand holder which connects to the giant drone which will fly when you say, “alexaflyfly”. It is as big as a tiny room.

The Spitoilink produces a realistic hologram. You click a button at the end of the wand to make the hologram appear. It will fly when you say, “alexaflyfly”. It will fly because it has a built in Alexa that controls the drone. It smells like latex and is silent. You can buy a different type which is based off of which hologram it makes. There are lots of holograms including penguins, Voldomort, cake, a hawk, and more.

and painted this:

I made this collage:

Artist name/Pronouns: Karen Hanrahan SHE

Title: Holographic Rays

Materials: Stitched Collage

Dimensions: 8x8

This is my third time participating.


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 07 Apr 2021 16:54:40 GMT
A Letter To Artist Sanaz Haghini Woman Made Gallery hosted an exhibit titled "Reciprocity". The theme was about artists pairing their work. What struck me most about the exhibit was how many of the artists knew each other for such a long while. 

The gallery put out an additional art call for letters to the participating artists, a project of sorts, offering thanks to an assigned work of art and the artist. I signed on. I heard the response to participate was overwhelming.

How wonderful is that! 

The artist that I was assigned to was Sanaz Haghini. She submitted this distinctive red and black screen print titled "Struggle".

You can see the work of the artist she paired with here, along with the entire exhibit here. 

In her artist statement she writes:

"My work examines how culture and its identity can be understood from its women’s status and circumstances, such as the roles they play in society, the rights they enjoy (or not), and most pointedly, the dress codes to which they must adhere. For this collaboration, I wanted to depict a woman with a chador, a black veil that swallows the woman in its form. I wanted to envision a woman who struggles with her thoughts, a woman who attempts to hold or release something. I try to visualize an impression of being safe or being insecure. My work depicts the hiddenness, which is in contrast with Lara’s work. Mine is a silence, and hers is a scream. Mine is a secret, and hers is a manifest. From my view, this familiar contrast identifies the same situation. Even though we are from different lands, we face similarities because of our sex. This collaboration helped me to understand the meaning of being a woman in another culture. These similarities make us as a woman to be closer together and have respect for our struggles."

Part of my letter to her said: 

"Thank you for your work “Struggle” Sanaz! Several things spoke to me about your screen print. My most immediate response was from your use of red and black. Both haunting and striking. One could not mistake the struggle of the figure. You said it was a swallowing of form. I thought invisibility. I thought ordinary. I thought of how in day to day life one can be lost. That even hidden one can still visibly bleed. Powerful. I was also struck by the reflection in the red. I felt it portrayed how we never really get away from what we hide from or what haunts us. I loved what you wrote about the contrasts between your work and Lara’s. “Yours is silence, hers is a scream.” I felt both!  Thank you for your ability to provoke. I spent quite a bit of time with this exhibit. What touched me the most was the many long term relationships between paired artists. Many offered mutual admiration and contrasting art styles. The gathering as a whole was an experience. Even if I only viewed it online. I love that about art!" 

Screen print by Sanaz Haghini - Title: Struggle






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan Mon, 05 Apr 2021 23:24:31 GMT
Connections At Roaring Artist Gallery 22 Artists, along with the galleries represented artists have been juried into a virtual group exhibition titled "CONNECTIONS" at Roaring Artist Gallery.  I was one of those artists!

Juror Adrienne Brown-David selected this collage:

purple martinpurple martinpurple martin

I am honored and delighted.

Roaring Artist Gallery was founded by Katie Bradford Osborne

The Call For Art:  Connections. As people, there were new connections with family as we found ourselves stuck together, day in and day out.  There were connections that we scrambled to hold onto with friends we couldn’t touch.  There were also connections we let go of, as we saw sides of others we simply could not live with and as we grieved our vast and devastating losses. As artists, there was the connection with our art, as we tried to figure out what it meant to us during a pandemic that had shut down our exhibitions and driven us inside of our houses- and inside of ourselves, as well. And here, going into 2021, with a vaccine on the horizon and time continuing to tumble forward in a way we still don't quite recognize or understand, we’re all realizing that the meaning of “Connections” has changed irrevocably.This show is here to allow women-identifying artists a space to share their own confusion, sorrow, joy, and hope with what “Connections” has meant to them and will mean to them moving into 2021. This theme can be interpreted as widely or as specifically as each artist imagines it. We want YOUR stories and voices.  We know you have something to ROAR! 

This is a juried exhibition with guest juror, Adrienne Brown-David an award-winning artist whose work has been exhibited and collected across the continental US and the US Virgin Islands.

The Connections exhibition will debut online on April 1, 2021 in our Interactive 3-D Gallery Space as well as our online Show Catalog.

The exhibition will run from April 1- May 31. 

Artist Statement:  I love when connections circle back.  In 2020 a fellow artist sent me an envelope full of items to collage with. “Could you use these?” she wrote.  One such item was a bird book made in 1935 by the father of a very dear and mutual friend. The friend’s father, Bobby Zimmerman was 9 when he made the book. His youthful making reminded me of books I made as a little girl. Full circle. It seemed criminal at first to tear the vintage bird book apart, but the collages became something new and uniquely mine using parts of the blue book cover and bird imagery. It was as if the old illustrations hatched new lives. New beginnings. Full circle. This friend connection prompted a flurry of bird themed work. My focus took me deep into about 6 weeks of making. I felt giddy, I had clarity that what I was making was wonderful. These collages would have little to no meaning if the bird illustrations were simply found. They meant more as a gift. Full circle.

It took me over a year to perfect this particular collage technique. At first I was exploring how to complete an existing piece and avoid the cost and weight of framing. Binding with a backing much like they do in quilting became a solution. Along the way I stumbled into videos that taught crazy quilting techniques. I thought, how could I do that with paper? My collages began to feel like puzzles. Further along I cut magazines pages into one inch strips. I saw them as dashes of color, texture and design. Since, I find myself hooked on this method. I feel a sense of order as I make. The visual is sustainable and reliable, yet over and over the vibrant patterns surprise me. Plus making strips is a remarkable way to use up an entire magazine.  When I first began to machine stitch my life was broken. The stitching had me feel like I was piecing myself together. The stitches weren’t perfect. But they would have to do. I have a long meaningful history with collage. I don’t think any year has needed to collage as much as 2020 has.

Artist note: the collage above was made from the bird book mentioned above. 




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage gallery karen hanrahan roaring Tue, 23 Mar 2021 19:33:40 GMT
Vintage Playing Card Collages Now At Main Gallery 404 These unique 6x6 stitched collages are now hosted by Main Gallery 404 in Bloomington, IL

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist illinois karen hanrahan Wed, 03 Mar 2021 18:13:16 GMT
Updated Framed Work At Brazen It is time to switch out my collage art graciously hosted by BRAZEN. 

Brazen just celebrated their 3rd year in business. This last year challenged them immensely. I admire their tenacity and determination. I love being part of their eclectic collection of art and items for sale. I love that they love what they do.

These are the two new original pieces, they are framed - ready to hang:

these two are now available unframed through me. 

Other finds at BRAZEN include these stitched cards + prints ( prints pricing is discounted! ) 




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 03 Mar 2021 17:49:36 GMT
Birdland 2021 BIRDLAND

February 5-28, 2021

SOLD - crow


"Flock through Skagit Valley and visit Smith and Vallee Gallery for our Annual Bird Invitational. This exhibit features over 100 artists with works of our feathered friends." 

My grouping of 20 stitched BIRD collages was selected to be a part of this annual and beloved exhibit!!

I asked for assistance from the gallery as far as how to hang all of these. Ummmmmm, NOT my area of expertise. Camille just sent these images over and said it was the first thing she hung this morning. Seeing them all together so perfectly made me cry.

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 03 Feb 2021 18:21:30 GMT
Pandemic Image Essay 2020 Each year end I review my image library for themes.  I do this as a way to separate certain images for future use. To submit into an art call, to tour, or to write about in a blog post. When last year shifted to things pandemic I didn't set out to narrate it. I simply went about my day to day. I went internal. I stayed home. Within that ....there is a narrative of sorts. 

I curated over 200 images and hope to make sense of the them and the story they tell by authoring this blog post.

When grocery shelves became empty.

When the lobby gathering space in my building was was put away.

When I began to perfect the 2 week grocery shop.

When plastic replaced paper bags.

When the beauty I could find at home included my bed unmade or not.

When I made do with a scarf for a mask because I was having a reaction to the elastic versions. the scarf was not a particularly sustainable solution. I looked like an insect or something

When I was gifted a proper mask with ties vs elastic, and mask selfies became a thing.

When spring happened

When streets were eerily empty

When moments outside were beautiful

When dirty cutlery became an artist statement

When Amber posed for me

When food was cause for an image taking pause....or image taking entertainment

When doing laundry seemed to be an accomplishment

When simple object/s in my home caught my photographers eye

When out in the community I saw a statue wearing a mask

When making art, stitched collage art. specifically a crazy quilt style but with paper, consumed much of my time. I made over 40 bird collages this fall.


Guadalupe carcara - extinctGuadalupe carcara - extinctGuadalupe carcara - extinct purple martinpurple martinpurple martin NFSNFSNFS SOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babies

When Amber tried to help me sew and made me really laugh

When a ponytail became the covid hairstyle. 

When baking from a box was a form of entertainment.

When my view from my window gifted me a dose of nature or a cat or beauty

when my glass things emphasized the light or view

When payment with my food stamp card was now allowed for grocery pick up.

When the sun was bright and the shadows took my breath away

When it rained or the wind was epic

When dishes broke

When goals were set and reached, and the reward was cake. really good cake!

When our air quality got scary because of smoke from neighboring state fires

When gifts were given.

When getting new glasses or replacing an 11 year old lap top wasn't simple. at all.

When I decided on what to send as my holiday greeting.

When the holidays happened.  or tried to happen.

When it snowed beautifully on the first day of winter like it is suppose to.

When all my toe socks are in the laundry but you still find dork status

when reaching is with claws out

When I left my apartment and found the shadow of myself.

When patterns formed.  Post office, groceries, pharmacy ...repeat.

Finally a few random captures. my door - decorated for fall, new glasses, a heat pad thing, amber in black and white, grateful for social distancing, footwear bling

The End.

this blog post would only allow so much photography. The full portfolio of images can be found HERE



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer washington Wed, 13 Jan 2021 21:47:55 GMT
Vibrational Collage I co-taught a year long course in 2020 with one of my very favorite humans and Tarot card reader Sara Galactica. 

The course Vision 2020 combined our two passions. Tarot and collage.

This post highlights a year of my personal collage work in relationship to this course. 

At our first gathering in January we collaged journals to prepare for our work together for the upcoming year. We met in person one more time before things pandemic forced us to gather virtually.

Below is an inside cover I made for a journal. journal making with collage was new to me. I ended up making a few and used them for my personal 2020 ponderings.

I have been collaging since the late 90's. I began teaching the creative subconscious collage process to others. Mostly in workshops. I casually journaled with collage in 2013, and then collaged daily in 2017/18. The reveal in those two years were an intimate narrative of some rather challenging times. 

I relocated in 2015 to the PNW. I arrived wearing the "I am an artist" hat. Sara at the time had a wonderfully curated boutique. She was the first to host my art.

Meeting Sara was the beginning of a mutually admiring relationship. 

My collage work since has taken on many forms. Forms that as an artist I feel especially proud of.

Below is one example. - a crazy quilt style 12 x 12 piece made with paper. It took me a year to perfect this format. Much of my 2020 art work is like this.

SOLD - blackbirdsSOLD - blackbirdsSOLD - blackbirds

In observing and experiencing the collage work of 2020, especially in relationship to our teachings. These makings were different. These collages had a vibration to them.

These collages had a specific energy. a vibe. The work also had a telling. a significant meaning for the moment, or a meaning in the making. they provided a visual value parallel to the conversation we were having or a reveal of the subconscious at that time. in short, they were amazing. 


The collages below SOLD!!

That work I did within the context of an art journal was of interest to another ...felt pretty awesome.

Gathering in a virtual zoom environment did not hinder our collective. I personally am not a video and or a tech person. Had Sara not been steering that part of our virtual workshops, I would have struggled. She made it seamless and delightful. I was able to do my part and offer thought provoking content to collage with and to facilitate the creative subconscious process. We made a great teaching pair.

Participants at all levels in both tarot and collage found their own personal creative stride and style. I myself am a Tarot newbie. The coursework met for 4 workshops plus a few collage circles ( for fun! )

Additionally I decided to collage and pull tarot with the cycles of the new and full moon. To try Tarot on so to speak. In my own way I would create a collage, and then pull a card to see what Tarot had to say. Most of the time the card contributed, which I found absolutely fascinating!

Over the course of the year. A community formed. Journals were written in. New ideas were found. Recorded sessions were revisited. All of it was rather groovy.

and lovely.

and emotionally rich for those who participated in lots of unexpected ways. myself included.

I felt that it was important to cull the collage work that fit into this vibrational category to bring closure to our workshop. 

2021 will find Sara hosting a year long pilgrimage deeply steeped in her Tarot teachings.

I am launching a Collage with Karen series. ( by email invitation only. email me if you are interested )  





(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Sat, 02 Jan 2021 19:51:13 GMT
2020 Graffiti I am a huge fan of many of the local street artists here. 

In 2015 when I arrived in WA I loved the experience of the "find". 

Graffiti Art is very transient. It may not be there the next time you look for it.

One artist lost an epic collection of work to a 2018 fire. 

 This type of art changes all the time. 

I began following the particular graffiti collection below in July. Things Covid keep me at home most of the time but I could easily drive by or walk socially distanced along Granary Ave. Some of this art began as a form of expression for the Black Lives Matter Movement. Since, it has evolved, morphed, and become a variation of itself. The art is mostly the work of Matt French, Taj Eye and maybe even some work by Shawn Cass. I apologize that the indentity of all the artists are not always clear to me.

In the beginning the construction partition boards had corporate signage for the new buildings going up. The community didn't seem to care for that signage. Somehow they were painted over and the graffiti artists gained full access. I thought that was pretty great.

In November, my 11 year logic board died. I had to replace my technology. Things tech have changed in the last decade. While I was grateful that most of my back up was in tact. I lost two graffiti shoots. Very frustrating. I then got caught up in the hoopla and transition of things new. I lost weeks.

I admit to being very overwhelmed at the moment. The work flow that I am use to is all different. YEARS of images are now on an external harddrive making sourcing and working with them a bit of a hassle. At least a hassle to me. I no longer have the post-production software that I love.

Below are the works from Granary Ave as I photographed them by date. My image taking style is up close and personal. I am fascinated by the layers and depth to some of these pieces, as well as the art within the art. All the photographs below are mine. I purposely don't watermark images of graffiti though - it's not my work.

Its my desire to bring honor to what these talented creators make and to share how I see it.

I should add that this is only a partial collection of my graffiti photography. 


8-28 - the corporate signage is in a few of these. 


9-25. sometimes when my time was short. I simply did a drive by ...




12-4 - I love how the tree shadow became part of this.

A 2021 update to this blog post. I go by all of these often but sometimes I forget my camera or just drive by. 



(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer washington Fri, 11 Dec 2020 20:33:26 GMT
Birds Of 2020 2023 update:  

I decided to submit 6 not yet shown Bird Collages to 2024 Smith and Vallee's Annual Bird Invitational. Read on to see the 2020 back story to this project, which birds are still available for sale and which have sold. 

chickadee, chimney swift, phoebe, screech owl, golden crown kinglet, yellow warbler ( image resources are dated 1900, and from the bird book created by 9 yr old bobby zimmerman in 1935. bobby was the father of a gal I know!  ) 

ChickadeeChickadeeChickadee Chimney SwiftChimney SwiftChimney Swift PhoebePhoebePhoebe screech owlscreech owlscreech owl golden crowned kingletgolden crowned kingletgolden crowned kinglet yellow warbleryellow warbleryellow warbler


Labor Day weekend I set aside an afternoon and pulled out a variety of magazine sources looking for birds. I was thinking ahead to the 11th annual Bird Invitational, a large group winter show hosted by Smith and Vallee Gallery in Edison. Be sure to follow them on Instagram. This will be my third year participating. I had no particular plan that weekend, I just began making merely for the love of collaging and to see what bird works I could come up with. 

Note: this post has a lot of images in it. and many different birds. I thought rather than make this post any longer than it already is. I will title the birds over at the album I made. you can click on and peek at it here.

It took me a year to perfect this particular collage technique. It mimics quilting, particularly, crazy quilt style, but with paper. 

Each stitched collage is constructed with multiple layers much like a quilt, and finished by adding a backing that is then folded over to the front and stitched. This offers a framing to each unique piece. 

Backings are mostly from fashion magazines and selected usually for their bright or matching color.

this backing has the title of the bird "crow" stitched in and pulls out things blue. this collage SOLD

These four 8x8 stitched collages are what I first made that Labor Day weekend. 

Guadalupe carcara - extinctGuadalupe carcara - extinctGuadalupe carcara - extinct loonloonloon pyschobird - westernscrub jaypyschobird - westernscrub jaypyschobird - westernscrub jay seagullseagullseagull

I had been gifted an old ledger the summer before. In it was stationary from a chicken breeder with letters written in 1919! Chickens are birds...yes? There was also handwritten communications between her and her niece from 1922 with the sweetest bird rendering. Get a load of the vintage advertising.

The three of these were made from those materials:

Ads_Ledger_1913Ads_Ledger_1913Ads_Ledger_1913 ledger_letter_1922ledger_letter_1922ledger_letter_1922 ledger_plymouthrocks_1922ledger_plymouthrocks_1922ledger_plymouthrocks_1922

But then a friend of mine completely surprised me with a package in the mail.  In it was a variety of torn magazine pages, something she sends from time to time. Plus a remarkable treasure of a bird book, hand-made in 1935 by a 9 year old boy, Bobby Zimmerman - the father of a dear and mutual friend.

Also included were 2 envelopes of vintage bird and floral illustrations.

I could hardly believe it!!

She had no idea that I was working on a bird theme!

I know it takes a little something to tear apart something so dear, but the bird book was sent to me for that reason. And so I began to make. I did so in an order that I thought honored and grouped the like looking resources within that book.

I first made these three. The blue are strips from the cover of the original bird book. Each has similar strips from a variety of sources making them look quite wonderful all together. These have since SOLD.

purple martinpurple martinpurple martin SOLD red headed woodpeckerSOLD red headed woodpeckerSOLD red headed woodpecker wood thrushwood thrushwood thrush

I made these two which delightfully ...SOLD, to a collector for her holiday gifting!

SOLD ovenbird and warblerSOLD ovenbird and warblerSOLD ovenbird and warbler

I actually had a lot of interest in these 8x8 stitched collage pieces as I was making them. Which I loved so much. But, I decided to pause that interest until I knew what I planned to submit to "BIRDLAND" and what the gallery selected. This was the first time as an artist that I had to do that. 

These 5 bird illustrations are dated back to 1900:

ChickadeeChickadeeChickadee Chimney SwiftChimney SwiftChimney Swift PhoebePhoebePhoebe screech owlscreech owlscreech owl golden crowned kingletgolden crowned kingletgolden crowned kinglet yellow warbleryellow warbleryellow warbler

I turned the one below into my holiday greeting for 2020, later the original was SOLD:

tufted tit mousetufted tit mousetufted tit mouse

I then began to develop a plan for the 20 bird illustrations. I planned to make all 20 in a row. I cut the one inch strips in advance, including strips from the wildflower illustrations. I selected backings ahead of time. I did that so that the making would be seamless and complimentary to each other. These were way way fun to make. 


As a collective once finished they sure made quite the grouping! Which is what showed in the BIRDLAND exhibit!

Since 2021, the Crow SOLD, The Blue Jay was published in a literary magazine at UC Davis, groupings showed at Smith and Vallee ( as i've already mentioned ), at Allied Arts Gallery,  the quail and brown thrasher showed at Schacktober Fest 


mock 8x8 squares quiltmock 8x8 squares quiltmock 8x8 squares quilt

These below were the last three 8x8's made from the bird book.


w_crayon_age9w_crayon_age9w_crayon_age9 Robin in the rainRobin in the rainrobin in the rain Bobolink PairBobolink PairBobolink Pair  

Finally, I had to decide what to do with two larger illustrations. I was OK cropping all of the other birds but these needed to be whole. These two 12x12 stitched collages are what transpired - Both SOLD

The blackbird one had immediate interest and once I heard back from the gallery - it SOLD! On the back of it I had put the title from the original bird book and the paper fastener that young Bobby used to hold his book together.

SOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babiesSOLD - mama bluebird and babies

SOLD - blackbirdsSOLD - blackbirdsSOLD - blackbirds Bird Book 1935Bird Book 1935Bird Book 1935


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Sun, 29 Nov 2020 00:13:54 GMT
Fall Consignment At Brazen I am excited to bring in some new ideas for consignment at Bellinghams darling of a shop known as Brazen Shop + Studio. I have been with this lovely establishment from its beginnings. Time for a bit of a refresh. 

I am hoping framed art offers a ready to hang option. These two collages are from my daily journal days and I think they are a nice pairing. I love the white mat with the thin black gallery frame. 

These 4x6 notecards took off early this year. Sales were reassuring during pandemic hard times. Very cathartic in their making. The notecards represent the stitched collage work that took me some time to learn and perfect - most, if not all, of my 2020 collage work is stitched. Each card is truly one-of-a-kind, themed by color, they are assembled on kraft paper card stock and come with an envelope.

This is the back side/ a place to add a written note.

Brazen has hosted 2 solo exhibits for me, they helped me experiment with making and selling prints. They helped me launch the "simply a photograph" line. I am beyond grateful to be a part of their superb collection of vendors. In a shop local and or shop artisans this small boutique is a true find. 

Below are what is left of the prints ( subject to availability) that are 30% OFF through December 2020. This is a great deal!!

Brazen, thanks to things pandemic now offers online shopping.

(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan Thu, 15 Oct 2020 23:42:37 GMT
2021 Amber The Cat Calendar Is Ready To Order! The calendar is here! The 2021 Amber the Cat calendar is here!

( some images in this post are for promotion only, they are not in the calendar )

For the second year now,  I am celebrating my cat amber with another calendar.

With the past year and things pandemic

I decided to go with a theme. 

You'll have to buy the calendar to see.


A few things are the same.

A few things are different.


This is still a print on demand circumstance.

I love that I can work with a local vendor.

Price is the same.YAY!  $24.99 ( tax included )

Local pick up is the same. Customers must wear a mask, and curbside pick up can be arranged. 

US shipping cost is the same. $8.25

if you are out of the country. then costs are based on weight and zipcode

(example: prague, $16.04, no tracking. 2020 pricing) 

STAPLED calendar style only. 

A stapled version offers the most value, the best quality paper

and 15 images of Amber!


Last year I promoted that 10% of all calendar sales will go to the Human Society where I adopted Amber, but I ended up gifting 20%. 

I will donate 20% this year. Thank you to those of you who ordered calendars in advance!

 THIS is the Process: 

1. tell me you want one

2. pay me ( pay pal is preferred or check )

3. I will let you know when your calendar is ready for pick up or shipped

HUGE Thank you to Applied Digital Imaging  

1803 North State Street

Bellingham, WA 98225


During Phase 2, we are opening the lobby (masks required) and continuing to offer curbside service by request.  We offer free Local Pickup and Delivery.  A variety of shipping options are also available.

Shop hours are 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday-Friday.








(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) cat karen hanrahan photographer washington Sat, 12 Sep 2020 15:53:39 GMT
LOSS A Virtual Group Exhibit At Woman Made Gallery During Covid times Woman Made Gallery in Chicago began hosting group virtual openings in a different way. They reduced the fee to enter and each artist would have at least one of their 4 submitted pieces be a part of the online gallery. Prior there was never a guarantee that you would be chosen. Shows were juried and curated. This pandemic method while juried was very inclusive vs competitive. Wonderful, large shows. I have been watching this gallery for many years and I have been submitting. I feel honored each and every time they include me. This will be my 5th opening with WMG

For the theme LOSS coming up this September 

I knew immediately that I wanted to share this collage narrative. 

BOTH collages were chosen. I am quite delighted. 

Thank you Woman Made Gallery!

Here is a link to the exhibit.

Artist Statement: 

I moved to a border-farming town that was near what is called the berry belt. Intense summer forest fire smoke lingered and temperatures were abnormally hot. The farm employers said, “Unless you are dead, don’t miss work.” 17 days into harvest, a young 28 year old guest migrant worker, named Honesto fell ill. 4 days later he died. His death sparked a day long workers strike and negotiations about how to give H-2A workers better representation.

I was journaling daily with collage at the time. I don’t usually collage about events in the news. Yet, my sadness for this family showed up in my creative subconscious work. A wife and 2 young ones were now without him, such a tragic loss.


CALL FOR ART: I lost my husband eight years ago, my mother just over four years, and my father three months ago. Those were my three best friends, so needless to say they were devastating losses. My parents who had been married well over fifty years, were not able to relate to the significance of my loss, and did not know what they could do to support me through it. This made it even more difficult. I became the primary caregiver for all three of them, in addition to planning all three funerals, with the assistance of my children. Every loss that we experience is individual, and how we navigate through it is also a varied experience. Those around us may try to comfort us in various ways, but often don’t know what to say or do, because we all experience grief or loss in different ways. Not only that, when we think of loss in the broader since of the word, that can encompass a great many other things. With the advent of Covid-19, some people are experiencing loss in the form of loved ones, jobs, divorce, businesses, independence, travel, family celebrations, and so on. How has loss impacted you?" -Felicia Grant Preston   

Juror/Curator: Felicia Grant Preston is a retired art instructor and visual artist. She received a BA in art from Southern Illinois University, an MS ED from Northern Illinois University, and an MA from Chicago State University. In addition, she has studied at the University of Illinois, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Governor State University and The Savannah College of Art and Design. Her work has been included in the Paul R. Jones collection at the University of Delaware, considered one of the largest collections of African American art.  Publications include the University of Delaware’s 2005 date book, Abstract and All That, University of Delaware exhibition catalog, African art: the Diaspora and beyond by Daniel T. Parker, Cover design for Mystic turf poems by Quraysh Ali Lansana, and one image in Revise the Psalm: Work Celebrating the Writing of Gwendolyn Brooks, edited by Quraysh Ali Lansana, and Sandra Jackson-Opoku, 2016. For more information visit: 


I also included in my submit a shot of how smokey the area was in those times.




(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan washington woman made gallery Wed, 12 Aug 2020 19:50:24 GMT
2020 JULY Events I have two virtual events this July. 

One is in Chicago. at Woman Made Gallery - the theme is HOME, i wrote about it in depth here

I really admire the way this gallery shifted it's calls for art. Each who submit were allowed one assured piece into the show. They lowered their entry fee. The response was seemingly very positive, raising funds for the gallery while allowing artists who have lost many opportunities this year to me a part of something. They have done this multiple times this year. 

The other show themed SHIFT is local, it's a small but mighty collection of those who help run Make.Shift Gallery 

I enjoyed the art call for Shift. they requested that we submit art that is "quintessentially you" which really made me smile. 

"Every month in Make.shift our gallery is filled with eye-catching and controversial work from local, regional and international artists, but what about the artists who work hard to make sure we are functioning at full steam? We are fortunate to have so much talent within Make.shift’s community. July is our month to showcase the visual artists that help to form us as an institution. We asked our staff, interns, board members, jury members, gallery attendants, and kzax DJs to submit work that defined their art. We’d like to show the work that they feel most embodies their themes and style to display the range of creativity within our space. Join us art walk Friday so we can show you what Make.shift is really made of"

I would also have opened my touring show "singularity" at a new location.

had we not still be managing things pandemic.



I am grateful for two small shops that are still carrying my work.

In spite of reduced hours and phase 2 small business compliance. 

Brazen Shop + Studio

and Main Gallery 404 in IL


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer Wed, 08 Jul 2020 21:46:30 GMT
HOME A Virtual Group Exhibit with Woman Made Gallery

I am honored to be participating in the group show HOME, a virtual exhibition. with Woman Made Gallery in July!

I look forward to participating on the artist panel on July 11th. Zoom/Live!  7 of us were selected. Here is the youtube recording

Of the 4 photographs i submitted: 

THIS was the photograph the juror selected. Scroll down to read the artist statement

These are photographs of cutlery taken during pandemic times. 


HOME, A Virtual Exhibition
Juror/Curator: Jennifer Weigel
July 2020 | Facebook Live Opening: Saturday, July 11 | 2–3 p.m.

CHICAGO –– Woman Made Gallery (WMG) is pleased to present “HOME, A Virtual Exhibition” with work by 123 artists from the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

Due to Covid-19 the theme of home is particularly relevant. With the Stay at Home orders everywhere, so much of life is impacted. Home is often presumed to be a safe sanctuary or retreat that one goes to reconnect with themselves, but that is not the experience for many who face trauma and violence at home or who do not have a stable home to

In her juror’s statement Jennifer Weigel reflects on the entries: “In jurying Home for Woman Made Gallery, I was drawn to the diversity of expression and willingness to share our most intimate moments: our laughs, loves, and losses. How we see our homes is very much a reflection of how we see ourselves.  What is important to us?  What dark thoughts lurk in the closet or under the bed and keep us up at night?  What lights our way to carry us through our dark times, and what gives us cause to sing and dance in the kitchen?  Home is a reflection of where we are in our lives, where we have been, and where we are going.  

Exhibiting Artists: Ngozi Akande, Elaine Alibrandi, Marjorie Arnett, Lisa Marie Barber, Sandra Barrett, Donya Beaton, Zoe Beaudry, Kari Black, Sarah Blaszczak, Susan Bloomfield, Fanny Brodar, Dorothy Broers, Marianna Buchwald, Debbie Burk, Maria Camera-Smith, Christina Canzoneri, Sara Corley Martinez, Rachel Dickson, Caro Dranow, Iwona Duszek, Mirvia Sol Eckert, Bronwyn Elkuss, Deborah Emerson, Carol Estes, Sophia Etling, Donna Faranda, Melon Fernsebner, Linda Foley, Lisa Foster, Lisa Friedman, Victoria Fuller, Elise Gagliardi, Kathleen Garness, Christine Giancola, Juliet Goodden, Laurie Hall, Karen Hanrahan, Pamela Hobbs, Katie Hovencamp, Megan Hulan, Valerie Huss, Nura Husseini, Christine Ilewski, Malika Jackson, Jennifer Jenkins, Aunia Kahn, Ruth Keitz, Jennifer Kempf, Zoe Kennedy, River Kerstetter, Mary King, Christina Klein, Mary Kolada Scott, Tulika Ladsariya, Betty Jane Lau, Beatriz Ledesma, Julie Lee, Susan E Lehman, Jill Leipprandt, Anna Lentz, Sarah Leslie, Dawn Liddicoatt, Li Lin-Liang, Dominika Lipecka, Sandra Luckett, Elaine Luther, Laura Lynne, Ellen Starr Lyon, Mandem, Claire Marcus, Juliet Martin, JL Maxcy, Maureen May, Sandra Mayo, Mary McFerran, Edith Mendez, Deborah Mitchell, Karen Musgrave, Liz Nania, Indrani Nayar-Gall, Anne Nordhaus-Bike, Lollie Ortiz, Patricia Panopoulos, Wendy Peer, Corinne D. Peterson, Amy Pleasant, Kristen Polotsky, Kit Porter, Ann Quinn, Gina Lee Robbins, Kathryn Rodrigues, Red Sagalow, Whitney Sage, Marcia Santore, Mickey Satkiewicz, Jo Scheder, Paula Schiller, Johanna Sarah Schlenk, Gabby Schmitt, Heather Sepanik, Sherin Shefik, Carol Shikany, Michelle Sierra, Payton Spinosa, Tina Starr, Kiki Steinman-Arendsee, Susanne Swanson-Bernard, Meredith Swortwood, Salma Taman, D.A. Terzian, Cheryl Thomas, Michele Thrane, Tricia Townes, Ann Tracy, Janie Tubbs, Maria V, Gwynneth VanLaven, Jessica Wagner, Juliann Wang, Jan Wiesner, Elaine Woo, April Wright.

Juror/Curator: Jennifer Weigel is a multi-disciplinary mixed media conceptual artist. Weigel utilizes a wide range of media to convey her ideas, including assemblage, drawing, fibers, installation, jewelry, painting, performance, photography and video.  Much of her work touches on themes of beauty, identity (especially gender identity), memory & forgetting, and institutional critique.  Weigel’s art has been exhibited nationally in all 50 states and has won numerous awards. For more information visit

Artist Statement

The rule is one may wash dirty cutlery only after the last clean spoon is used.  Allow said cutlery to assemble ever so artfully on the bottom of reflective stainless steel kitchen sink. Pause occasionally to observe pleasant and artful utensil arrangements. Post an image of said observation on Instagram.

Is this pandemic behavior? Not really. It’s please don’t make me wash the knives, forks and spoons just yet behavior. My rule allows this. I call it quirky. Some might call it lazy and for those that require an empty kitchen sink at all times, you might never be able to live with me.

And that’s OK.  I’ve been practicing social distancing for some time now. I’ve gotten good at the blur of lost time and nothingness. I might be set in my ways. I find my day to day has not changed much.  I do notice the remarkable beauty in the sameness of things, like my dirty utensils. I treasure my home and it’s subtle visual celebrations. I feel safe as long as I am home.


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist karen hanrahan photographer Thu, 25 Jun 2020 18:37:29 GMT
My 4x6 Notecard Process Here is the process for my 4x6 Notecards

This work falls into the collage, stitched collage, crazy quilt style with paper collage, quilting with paper category. 

That these became notecards is a happy accident. 

No two are alike. 

I just love that they are selling.

I love that those buying them have a special someone they want to send them too. 

Card Top

I build these patterns around a select 5 sided piece of paper. Cards are made from torn apart linen and anthropology catalogs.  Some are built around a certain color palette. I use a glue stick. My studio has a cat.

meet amber. 

I am managing the selling of these in an album on FB at the moment.

simply "like" the card you want to purchase.

i will mark it sold. 

buy 4 and get a discount on price.


I stitch these with my sewing machine using a wide zig zag. metaphorically, the pieces are me "broken" and held together by stitches that have me become a new whole.


I use the bind with backing method. I try and find colors to match the initial piece. These backings are from W magazine. The paper has a light almost newsprint feel to the page. If you tore away the kraft back, you'd find a carefully selected backing. 

See below.  The backing is sized just a tad larger than the stitched collage. See the bit of yellow on the sides? The yellow will be part of the binding.

The stitched collage is then bound by folding the backing around the card.

I then attach the brown kraft note card, and stitch the two together using my sewing machine.

Each card comes with an envelope. 

This is batch #3

Finished 4x6 Notecards.

Front and backside (a place to write a note)  w/ envelope






(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan washington Wed, 24 Jun 2020 23:51:06 GMT
What Might Have Been And What Is June 2020 I WAS slotted for an artist talk and solo photography installation for June's First Friday.

A strategizing meeting on valentines day confirmed selection of 9 photographs I planned to print on a variety of mediums and frame. The photographs were to example the unique way that I offer an image narrative.

I would have prepared a 100 image or so slide show, and it may have been rather remarkable to connect with some folks from the community who only know my work from social media.

Perhaps it will be rescheduled. 

At this show I planned to show newly developed mixed media work that incorporates my photography into my collage work. A long time vision I've had. Work that I am very very excited about.

I made these 5x7's

and these 8.5 x11's.

I've been developing 8x8 mixed media pieces

some even include small bits of fabric and or hankerchief

Still in development, are Pet Memorial or Pet Portrait Squares.

In June there was to be a group show for Community 2 Community. Something I was invited to participate in.

The group show Scapes would still have been happening in Chicago at Jackson Junge Gallery. This show has been postsponed for now. I am not sure I was juried in.

What IS happening in June is this:  `

I am in a remarkable and moving virtual group exhibit hosted by Woman Made Gallery. The show was juried. Each artist was granted a piece within the theme "Touch" 181 Artists are represented. 430 pieces were reviewed. Woman Made Gallery is already proficient in exhibits online. This show is no exception. It feels (no pun intended) so so very good to be part of something again. 

The piece I submitted is nude and is about masturbation. sometimes when I submit works of nudity I use a different name. 

A cropped version is below.

Other good June news includes Main Gallery 404 in Bloomington, IL re-opens on the 3rd. YAY!

I have about 10 of these 6.5x6.5 squares in house there. 


(Collage Artist And Photographer Karen Hanrahan) artist collage karen hanrahan photographer Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:34:56 GMT
Home Art Tour I have written this post multiple times and for some reason my template was being very finicky. Image files were too large, too many or I could not add content the way I originally planned. This will have to do.  My art collection will have to speak for itself. 

 This by the way is a pandemic project. I personally began my social distancing on 3/9.