Artist Profile: Karen Colangelo

Enjoy the dramatic and colorful paintings of Canadian artist Karen Colangelo. We spoke with her about her strong signature style and selling her work.


"The Exceptional Usual" Acrylic on Canvas, 72" x 60 by Karen Colangelo

“The Exceptional Usual” Acrylic on Canvas, 72″ x 60


ABI:  What techniques have you used in developing your signature style?

KC:  I picked up my first paintbrush and started painting at the age of nine years old. I was heavily influenced in painting by my mother, who was a watercolour artist. Growing up in a house filled with this painting style, I was always craving a more vibrant, strong and vivid colour palette.


Diptych "The Plane Drive"Acrylic on Canvas, each 40" x 40" by Karen Colangelo

Diptych “The Plane Drive” Acrylic on Canvas, each 40″ x 40″


I have always had a constant desire to create bold works that stray from conventional application methods. At a young age, I used small paint brushes to apply acrylic paint to the canvas. Over my teenage years I changed to larger brushes, palette knives or other found objects around the home like a CD jewel case to drag the paint across the canvas. The colours followed increasingly becoming stronger and more vibrant.


"The Wild Tame" Acrylic on Canvas, 60" x 72" by Karen Colangelo

“The Wild Tame” Acrylic on Canvas, 60″ x 72″


Currently I use sheets of plexiglass to apply my paint to my large canvases. My painting style is abstract; my medium is acrylic paint on canvas. I paint the concept of contradiction. I’ve always been attracted to bringing opposite colour combinations together, and thus what would typically be an opposite is now its complement. I create works that illustrate the dance or fight of colour. I drag acrylic paint across the canvas creating interesting shapes, impact, movement, and curiosity – ultimately creating a work of art that is in its purist form.


"The Shortened Length II" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 60" by Karen Colangelo

“The Shortened Length II” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 60″


ABI:  What is your approach to color?

KC:  Growing up with watercolours, I always felt that I didn’t want to add water to my paint. What pleased me the most was having the paint come straight out of its tube and landing directly onto the canvas.


Diptych "The Northern South" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 80" by Karen Colangelo

Diptych “The Northern South” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 80″


Pure colour in its original state and how the colour interacts with one another colour is how I create my abstract pieces. Vibrant, vivid and bright colour hues are what I am addicted to. With all of my works certain hues must be present.


Triptych "The Letter Three" Acrylic on Canvas, 16" x 48" by Karen Colangelo

Triptych “The Letter Three” Acrylic on Canvas, 16″ x 48″


I have a strict recipe that I follow for the art piece to be successful and to tell its story. I work mostly with primary and secondary colours, and to create interest, a spot colour is introduced. I like to place opposing colours next to each other to see if they have a visual impact or movement to the viewer and by using my application method this offers an engaging story.


"The Collected Scatter" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 40" by Karen Colangelo

“The Collected Scatter” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 40″


ABI:  Since your colorful work is versatile, what other formats are you using and selling?

KC:  My original fine artwork is represented and sold through a contemporary fine art gallery in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Through this gallery my work is purchased and displayed in contemporary fine art collectors’ private residences.


"The Middle Edge" Acrylic on Canvas, 40" x 30" by Karen Colangelo

“The Middle Edge” Acrylic on Canvas, 40″ x 30″


I am constantly trying to find new ways to send my artwork into the world. My original style of work is so versatile that it can be used in other platforms. My bright happy prints of my work can be found in my pendant necklace, decorative pillow and tote bag lines. These create other ways you can own a miniature version of one of my works.  It is a great way to add happiness and a splash of colour to your every day!



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