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25  Valerie Knapp

24  Xiaoging Yan

23  Hilary Rice

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19  Mary Karavos

18  Rasma Noreikyte

17  Judith Tinkl

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14  Pat Burns-Wendland

13  Barbara Wisnoski

12  Robert Davidovitz

11  Amy Bagshaw

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8  June J. Jacobs

7  Dagmar Kovar

6  Ixchel Suarez

5  Cynthia Jackson

4  Lorraine Roy

3  Christine Mockett

2  Amanda McCavour

1  Ulrikka Mokdad


Calligraphy of Color- Imported Papers - 2010 - 36 x 36, photo: Dean Palmer Photography


Coral Crescendo - Imported Papers - 2011 - 24 x 24, photo: Dean Palmer Photography



Artist: Mary Karavos, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Interviews 19: Mary Karavos exhibitied "Endearment" in the 2009  World of Threads Festival exhibition Common Thread International Juried Exhibition Part 1.

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Interviews published by Gareth Bate & Dawne Rudman.



Mary Karavos was born in Toronto Ontario. Her formal art training took place at the Ontario College of Art and Design.  In her final year of study, following a juried application process, Mary was awarded a year of advanced studies at the OCAD Fine Arts College in Florence Italy.  Florence became home for many years and it was during this time, while surrounded by the history, architecture and people of the city that Mary found herself drawn to paper fiber as a medium for her art.

Vibrant colour, and rich texture have become the signature of Mary's work.  Her distinct style of collage attracts collectors and buyers in Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia. Collections of her art and current work can be seen in solo, group and juried exhibitions. Mary has actively been exhibiting and selling her work for almost twenty years. In 2010 Mary had the pleasure of participating in group shows in Bologna, Italy, New York City, and in various juried exhibitions across Ontario. Website


Artist: Mary Karavos - The Girls in the Heather - Imported Papers -2010 - 30 x 60 photo: Monica Sanago


Tell us about your work?

I am a professional fine artist working with imported and specialty papers. No paint is used in my art. A rich interplay of texture and colour is achievable with the patient layering of hand-torn paper that is carefully selected. A visual and emotional journey captivates me. The finished image is a result of hundreds, perhaps thousands of delicately layered pieces of torn paper placed purposefully on the canvas.


From where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration surfaces memories of travel and expresses my life long love of colour, music and nature. I have found that doing my art is very meditative. Setting up new challenges as I work leaves me open to discovery and exploration.


The Beauty of Youth - Imported Papers - 2010 - 30 x 30, photo: Dean Palmer Photography


Why did you choose to go into fibre art?

In my graduating year at the Ontario College of Art, I was selected for a year of advanced studies in Florence Italy. Entranced with Florence and its surroundings, I continued to live and work there for many years.  Ultimately, it was Florentine light and colour and my love of paper that inspired my very first venture into my personal style of collage. My first attempt at doing an image with just fragments of paper was of the Cathedral itself. I enjoyed it so much that I never returned to painting.


Endearment, exhibited at the 2009 World of Threads Festival Part 1. photo: Mary Karavos.


Detail : Endearment - Imported Papers - 2009 - 30 x 40, photo: Mary Karavos



Which is your favourite fibre medium?

I choose to use only fine imported papers. The colours and texture of the beautiful papers are often the inspiration. The final image is an orchestration of fragments of colours composed into abstract and realistic images.


What other mediums do you work in, and how does this inform your fibre work?

My art training included painting, drawing, stone carving and photography. It has been almost twenty years since the very first paper collage of the Cathedral in Florence and I still continue to find paper an exciting medium to work with. I have often felt that I have a painters hand but I interpret with paper not with paint.



Garden Rhapsody - Imported Papers - 2009 - 30 x 40, photo: Dean Palmer Photography



What specific historic artists have influenced your work?

One artist that influenced me is Gustav Klimt. He had the technical ability to create images that were highly realistic, but he went beyond that and created detailed, canvases that were a combination of traditional and modern design, and colour, with subject matter ranging from figurative and non figurative works. His source of inspiration influenced his art and he was able to create art that was so new and so different during his time. His style is so unique and most recognizable. His approach to creativity and growing as an artist, as well as his beautiful images, are a great influence.


Autumn's Embers - Imported Papers - 2011 - 36 x 36, photo: Dean Palmer Photography


What specific contemporary artists have influenced your work?  

I have a great appreciation for many types of art and creative expression. I love texture, colour, pattern, transparency and light and that is why I have great appreciation for contemporary paintings, fibre art, glass, sculpture and music.

After I have completed a work of art I often see qualities in my art that I enjoy in others, however, when I work I concentrate on letting the muse guide me. I enjoy the process and take risks and challenges to try to create work that is unique and original.

Daniel Castillo is a contemporary glass artist who I admire. He has an incredible gift and technical ability with glass. He respects "the magic of a long cultural tradition" and is actively creating new and completely original works "the glass warms my soul as I create a new piece of art." He has a respect for the traditional glass work of his native latin culture and has embraced his new Canadian culture to create very new and exciting, comtemporay works of art...colourful, geometric and mesmerizing, captured by light.



Contemplation - Imported Papers - 2008 - 12 x 24, photo: Dean Palmer Photography



What role do you think fibre art plays in contemporary art?

The more I am exposed to fibre art, I discover how incredibly contemporary and innovative the artists are with their interpretations through this medium. I think fibre art is equally as important as all other mediums. The creative language has many sources for inspiration.


What other fibre artists are you interested in?

Yvonne Wakabayashi presently lives in Canada's Fraser Valley. She has adapted the traditional arashi shibori process to create beautifully organic sculptural pieces that are light and airy, made of silk. The ocean life, her inspiration from Western Canada and ancestral Japan translates into new and exciting art. "My heritage is reflected in the textiles I use where the ancient Japanese ancestry that inspires me is blended with the new ideas and processes of the modern world that enriches my work" Yvonne Wkabayashi.



Citrine Constellation- Imported Papers - 2011 - 24 x 24, photo: Dean Palmer Photography


Tell us about your studio and how you work:

I work in my home studio surrounded with a colourful palette of beautiful papers. Always, the starting place is the paper: Piece by piece, layer upon layer, I will work on a picture for hours, over periods of weeks and months. I will let it sit and percolate a bit while I begin a new piece, then return to add to it. I challenge myself with each canvas to create an image that evokes a singular impression, mood or emotion.


Where do you imagine your work in 5 years? 

My art is my language. I love to create original art because there is the element of the unexpected. The finished art is an exciting surprise. The excitement extends itself to the exhibitions as well. I like to put my art out there and see the journey it takes. Whether someone has enjoyed it enough to take it home with them, or having invitations to show in new galleries or exhibitions, or the honour of commissioned work of personal importance. It's an exciting journey.


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Interviews published by Gareth Bate & Dawne Rudman.


Magic Amongst the Birches - Imported Papers - 2010 - 24 x 24, photo: Dean Palmer Photography