Karen Monaghan


I graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art with a BA Hons degree and completed a year of post graduate study, before living overseas for 12 years where I continued to work and raise a family.

Returning to the West coast of Scotland in 1998 I painted from my studio in Troon. Now living and working in East Lothian I divide my time between painting and metal work, looking for new ways of resolving the thoughts and connections which inspire my work.

The organic themes are reflected in my jewellery design. I am inspired by the beautiful East Lothian landscape and feel very privileged to live here.


My paintings are a response to repeated journeys both locally and throughout Scotland. I am interested in the connectedness we have to each other and the landscape, finding common threads in shared experiences and a sense of place. The act of repeated walking, cycling, running, climbing, gives a different perspective of a familiar place. Observing that space at different times sparks new thoughts and ideas to develop.

My interest is in exposure, extremes and changes brought about by the elements,  I reuse paint peeled from yesterday’s palette to create texture, avoid the environmental impact of discarded paint, and to keep a connection with what went before. I like the idea that each image is like the verse of a song or a chapter in a book but not the whole story.  Using words or found objects invokes fragments of collective memory.