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Rolling Surf, 2017, oil on canvas, 12" x 24"

by Linda Chestney

So often we are compelled to leave home. The further the better, right? Yet there remains in our cultural DNA a pair that brings us back home. According to T.S. Elliott, “…and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

A popular saying states that: “Life takes you to unexpected places, love brings you home.” Indeed. That was seascape artist Karen Blackwood’s experience. Blackwood, who will have over 30 works in oil on display when her show opens on July 22 at the Todd Bonita Gallery in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, was born and grew up in New Hampshire, where she majored in painting at the University of New Hampshire. She was taught in the classical tradition by such mentors as Sigmund Abeles and Conley Harris.

Upon graduating, she was enticed by the siren call of the bright lights and career dazzle of New York City, receiving an offer from one of the nation’s finest advertising agencies, Grey Advertising (yes, the same glamorous ad agency of the famed “Mad Men” series), where she was hired as art director. Far in location and lifestyle from the New England seacoast and Yankee mindset, she was mired in a concrete jungle… no seagulls or sandbars. This was her new “home.”

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