Artist's Statement

My background in drafting and technical illustration has always influenced my work and I most enjoy creating fine detail paintings and drawings. Over the years I have experimented with various media including charcoal, graphite, pastels, watercolour, acrylic and Chinese Brush Painting. Through meeting others I have been encouraged to experiment with different media including coloured pencils, acrylic and encaustic and am excited to see where this will take me.

My love of nature and Ontario's native plants has been the focus of many of my most recent works as I try to capture the beauty of the environment around us. My current works include a series of plants and birds native to the Hamilton area - which I have entitled "My Backyard Neighbours". 

The seed for this project was planted almost 60 years ago when I was a young girl. I would hike through Kings Forest searching out the many different plants and animals that could be found there. My passion for nature and the amazing biodiversity of the Hamilton area has grown since then because of the many experiences I have had and the people I have met.

The United Nations has declared the decade - 2021 through 2030 - the Decade of Ecosystem Restoration. They are calling for the protection and revival of ecosystems around the world for the benefit of people and nature. Halting the degradation of ecosystems and restoring them will help achieve our global goals. Creating healthy ecosystems will enhance people’s livelihoods, counteract climate change and stop the collapse of biodiversity.

Both the geographic location and geology of Hamilton created a diverse habitat for thousands of plant, animal, bird and other species. My research has indicated that Climate Change and industrialization of the area have had a significant impact on all species that were historically found here and I am concerned that the extensive biodiversity of the area is at risk. 

Each piece in this series has been created using Chinese Brush Painting techniques on semi-absorbent Mulberry rice paper. Chinese Brush Painting is not widely known in Canada and my work is not what people might typically expect from this art form. I try to bend the rules and impose my own ideas and experiences in my work to spark conversations. I find the materials, although similar to that of watercolour, are unique and pose many interesting opportunities and challenges. I have been fortunate to be able to travel to China in the past to meet with several well known Chinese artists and observe their techniques and share my work with them. I also used these trips to acquire supplies suitable for my work.

To date all works (except the walleye) are species I have seen on my own property in Stoney Creek. So far these paintings represent a very small portion of the thousands of species found in the Hamilton region but they are just the first phase of my overall project.

My paintings are meant to show the viewer exactly what species we are at risk of losing in Hamilton. By combining my artistic skills and passion with my knowledge and love of nature and science I want to highlight the amazing biodiversity found in the Hamilton area. This may not play a significant role in stopping the collapse of the local biodiversity but is my way of trying to make a difference.

There are many other groups that share this love of nature so I have joined the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI) and the Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC) to learn from others and grow as an artist. I am also a member of the Women's Art Association of Hamilton (WAAH) and the Central Ontario Art Association (COAA)

Karen Logan, Nature and Science Art Illustrator

Karen Logan - Nature and Science Illustrator

Artist's Biography

A mother and grandmother, I was born and raised in Hamilton and has been interested in art my whole life. Taking private drawing lessons as a child, specializing in art studies throughout high school and receiving three honours certificates in fine arts from Mohawk College has helped keep art a central component of my life.

As a lifelong learner I am always looking for new techniques and enjoy the opportunity to try all forms of media. I have worked in pencil, ink, charcoal, chalk pastel, watercolor, encaustic, acrylic, and most recently Chinese Brush Painting as well as ceramics and silver smithing. Originally a mechanical draftsperson and technical illustrator, I recently retired from my part time positions with two not-for-profit, industrial environmental organizations to focus on painting and teaching others. I have opened my own studio in the Mill Arts building at the Cotton Factory and am now able to paint full time. 

I most enjoy painting botanicals, birds and animals in fine detail and show my work at various galleries including McMaster Innovation Park, juried and open exhibitions, in the Cotton Factory and in my own studio.