Meet the Maker: Karen, Pure Relaxation

Meet Karen, the conscious mind and gentle soul behind Pure Relaxation. Bringing a unique combination of coastal art and mindful workshops to the Summer x Salt season we are so lucky to have her as a part of our growing community. We caught up with Karen to discuss the new artworks coming out of her Scarborough studio, her future wellness retreats and mindful drawing workshops, and why we can all benefit from a mindful moment.

1. Where did your journey with mindfulness begin?

I started Pure Relaxation 12 years ago when I came to a point in my life where I was burnt out and I needed to rest and relax. Hence the name! I realised that I needed to make some changes, to stop doing so much and look after myself. Pure Relaxation initially started out as a Remedial Massage business specialising in relaxation massage and then later I trained as a Meditation Teacher to help me with my own meditation practice and share Mindfulness Meditation with others. After my mediation training I decided to start drawing simple line drawings to help mindfully train my own attention and next minute I was drawing mandalas. People started to ask how I did them so I shared my method and this has grown into the Mindfulness and Mandalas workshops that I run at my own studio and The Art Space Collective, both located in Scarborough.

2. What inspires you the most when colouring?

I am inspired by my love of coastal colours, the simplicity of a mandala and by the creativity displayed by those who attend my workshops. I am inspired by the vibrance of colour and I discovered how relaxing and peaceful it is to intertwine colour and simple line drawing.
It is so intriguing to merge colours and create your own colourful art and I share this in my workshops. It’s inspiring to see the different colours people choose.

I am inspired by the vibrance of colour and I discovered how relaxing and peaceful it is to intertwine colour and simple line drawing.

3. What are the mental/ physical health benefits of mindful colouring/ mindful art?

We live in such a fast-paced society that our bodies and minds are moving fast too. In short bursts this is beneficial for productivity however, when sustained this can place a significant strain on our nervous system. It sounds stupidly simple, but it is important to relax, rest and reset. Taking up a simple pastime such as drawing mandalas or colouring them in is a mindful and relaxing thing to do.

It helps get us away from screens and helps to activate our parasympathetic nervous system (the part of our nervous system that helps balance and relax). Being creative is also a great outlet for us all, I just wish I could show everyone they have the potential to be an artist!

4. If I don’t consider myself an artistic person is colouring for me?

Yes! Mandala drawing and colouring is fabulous for everyone. In my workshops people often say ‘I don’t have an artistic cell in my body!” and I say… “no worries we break the process into just the right sized pieces” and people completely surprise themselves with the mandala design they draw. As Kurt Vonnegut once said “practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow!”

5. How does your art help support your passion for sustainability?

It is important to me that my cards, journals and prints are printed sustainably using 100% recycled paper using vegetable-based inks so we can enjoy colour art in our lives and at the same time go easy on our beautiful planet.

6. What are your future goals for Pure Relaxation and how can we keep in touch with you?

My focus as I move forward is to continue sharing workshops at The Art Space Collective in Scarborough and in my studio, to create more prints, journals and cards for gifts and retreats, and wall art for people who are creating their own relaxing spaces. Sustainable stickers, wall decals and cushions are coming next. Everything to help us relax!

If you have any questions about my art or my workshops you can send me an email or visit my Instagram @purerelaxation where there is a link to my Etsy shop. Or alternatively, if you are ever in Scarborough call by my studio, Id love to meet you!

7. BONUS QU* What is your favourite piece in your current collection?

At the moment…the turquoise journal, card and print. This colour reminds me of the beautiful crystal clear turquoise waves here in Scarborough.

We can’t wait to see what Pure Relaxation has in store for us this Salty Season.

Until then try colouring in this FREE Mandala download, intricately drawn by Karen herself.

Enjoy, relax and create!


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