About

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Karin McLean was born in Montreal but has lived in Toronto all her life. She began painting seven years ago after being inspired by the architecture and urban character of her East-end neighbourhood. She is a self-taught painter who recently converted from acrylic to oil.


C.V.

Arta Gallery - Spring Exhibition group show 2018

John B. Aird Gallery - “The Views are Different Here” group show 2018

Office of Nathanial Erskine-Smith MP- several works on display 2018

Studio888 - Holiday group show 2017

Neighbourhood Gallery South NNUC - “Just Another Roadside Attraction”  group show 2017

East York Mirror - Painting featured on the Front Page, Holiday Edition 2016

Studio888 - Holiday group show 2016

Toronto Public Library - “No Place Like Home” solo show 2016

Design Nook - group exhibition 2016


Artist statement

When I was a child, our family moved frequently, never quite finding the one true place to put down roots. My parents never owned a house. We boomeranged between rented bungalows and high-rise apartments, our closets filled with some boxes that never got unpacked. I recently celebrated ten years in my little house, the longest I have ever lived anywhere.

This likely explains my obsession with houses, especially old ones that have seen the passage of time and neighbourhood changes.  Walking my dog at all hours and in all weather, I started noticing things: how shadows lined a laneway, the glint of sunlight on a chimney stack, the details of dated architecture. I felt compelled to capture these images as so many original dwellings are disappearing. A tiny 1930’s cottage can be demolished in hours, replaced several weeks later by a modern box. My work documents familiar architecture but also examines the notion of place , the sense of belonging, what makes us feel home. These paintings reflect an urban landscape but one that is still, without the complication of people., finding beauty in the everyday things around me.

 

Testimonials

I contacted Karin because I had seen some of her work and loved her style. We were selling our family home that my grandparents had owned for 57 years and I asked Karin to do two paintings of the house. One for my aunt and one for my mother for Christmas gifts. Karin personally visited the house and studied family photos of the house from earlier days. She captured our memories of the house in her two beautiful works of art. I am eternally grateful to Karin for preserving these memories for us. When I went to pick up the art, I got to see more of Karin’s collection in person and purchased another one of her paintings I had been eyeing. Thank you Karin for your amazing talent and for sharing it with us. I can’t wait to see what you create next.
— Katie