Karin Luciano

Karin Luciano Cv

Karin Luciano – Artist – Paintings

Karin Luciano – Artist Biography

Karin Luciano, an award-winning Margaret River artist, has held 26 solo exhibitions, as many collaborative exhibitions and exhibited in the eastern states of Australia and overseas.

After many years of travelling around the world, dozens of times in Asia and all over Australia, Melbourne born Karin Luciano finally settled in Margaret River in 1992.

Influences on her work include her late father, Andre Schuster a maestro gypsy violinist and double bass player from Transylvania. Also in her ancestry is the infamous feminist artist, activist and painter Portia Geach. Portia was Luciano’s great great aunt born in the late 1800’s, who donated an art prize that is awarded to Australian women portrait artists in the annual $20,000 Portia Geach Portrait Prize held in Sydney.

Karin studied classical music for many years and attended the ballet regularly as a young girl. A colourist at heart, Karin’s paintings are inspired by emotion, music and the environment she lives in. The views while she paints from her studio are of the grandeur of the Jarrah forests and the river itself. The sunsets and the white, sandy unspoilt beaches of the area also inspire her vibrant ink series.

Her large textural canvases capture the eye with her lustrous use of metallic paint. Movement is expressed through her free-flowing lines and her trade mark embellishments of gold leaf.

“My main passion in life is painting, along with writing and music. I only discovered this by chance ten years ago when I was awarded my first art prize.

I love to use gold leaf generously as it conveys to me a feeling of well-being and abundance. I try to apply colours like words shape poems, like notes that shape music. Art for me is intuition. My works are “emotionally based” and serve as “a mirror to the soul”.

My style of painting is action painting and I am an absolute colourist at heart.

I adore Jackson Pollock’s paintings love to paint BIG, and in bright vibrant colours allowing the paint to run and drip at its own pace while I manoeuvre the canvas. I use all types of unusual techniques by applying copious amounts of rich, thick paint; and then being spontaneous with the surface by dabbing with paint, sponging the surface, removing paint, scrapping the paint, applying sgraffito on the canvas using carving tools, spraying water at the canvas, squirting ink and throwing salt at the canvas. This allows the mediums to organically combine with each other on a thick texturous surface.

I often incorporate my poetry in the paintings and music also features in many of my artworks.

When I am painting, I prefer to paint at night when the world is quiet. This way I am able to focus solely on going deep within my soul and psyche. The silence of the evening allows me to express a depth of self expression that cant be accessed in the daylight.

I also like to use subtle metallics and you will discover that most of my paintings have embellishments of gold and silver leaf adorned on the surfaces or intermingled within the textures.

“My paintings start as an uninhibited release of emotion, a sacred place where I focus and express myself freely. My practice has always been geared towards the process, the final outcome of my work is never completely visualized or imagined and begins its life as a colour combined with an emotion.

The paintings combine layer upon layer of paint as bright, dioramas imbued with luscious paint. Structures are developed by pouring lines with sticks and nibs. Layers of hue are rubbed, splashed, drizzled or scraped onto the surface. This continual layering creates an organic energy and a dynamic engagement experienced throughout the process.

The works resolve upon completion with a hidden poetic narrative, when through a single moment the desired sense of feeling is exposed and simultaneously acknowledged uncovering the final composition.

The wonderful part of this process is that this experience is mine and mine alone. When others enter and absorb the paintings, and are moved by the visual exploration, the experiences are theirs and theirs alone”.

Her paintings are in collections worldwide and as a prolific painter she is known locally as “The Picasso of Margaret River!”



  • November       “Beyond the First Step”, Palandri Winery, Margaret River 2001
  • January           “Style and Celebration!”, Studio 7 & Gallery, Margaret River
  • March              “Desert Spirits – Water Spirits”, Amberley Estate Winery, Margaret River
  • May                  “Visions of… “, 274 Gallery, Northbridge, Perth
  • May                  “Time of Change”, Amberley Estate Winery, Margaret River
  • Nov                  “Down South & Margaret River”, Palandri Winery, Margaret River


  • April                 “Gathering Momentum”, Palandri Winery, Margaret River
  • June                “Chasing Dreams”, The Hyatt Regency Hotel Art Gallery, Coolum, Queensland
  • July                  “Winter Sonata”, Amberley Estate Winery, Margaret River
  • October           “Margaret River Odysey”, Basoda Gallery, Subiaco, Perth


  • March             “Celebration!”, River-Crossing Studio & Gallery, Margaret River
  • June                “Come On Out!”, Evans & Tate Winery, Margaret River


  • November     “Conception” – Opening of River-Crossing Gallery


  • November     “Primary Urges” – River-Crossing Gallery, Margaret River


  • January         “Colours of West Aussie” – The Art of Good Living, Manilla, Phillipines


  • May                “Moonlight & Merlot” – Fusion Fine Art Gallery, Mandurah
  • November       “4 Seasons in One Day” – River-Crossing Gallery, Margaret River


  • May                “Vineyard Symphony” – Fusion Fine Art Gallery, Mandurah


  • April               “10 Days in Havana” – River-Crossing Gallery, Margaret River


  • March            “Under the Sun” – Fusion Fine Art Gallery, Mandurah
  • November     Art Sydney, Moore Park, Sydney


  • February       “Margaret River Romance” – Fusion Fine Art Gallery, Mandurah
  • May                “Art Melbourne”


  • April                 “Love and Resurrection” – Jah Roc Gallery, Margaret River
  • July-August        Artist in Residence, Carrion de los Condes, North Spain
  • November          “Expressions of Love” – Isaacs Church Gallery Margaret River


  • January              “The Goodness of Heart” – the iconic Yallingup Hall, Yallingup
  • November          “Transition of Heart” – Margaret River Cultural Centre


  • April                    Artist in Residence – Dilkes-Hoffman Ceramics Gallery, Margaret River
  • April                    “Heart Openings” – Dilkes-Hoffan Ceramics Gallery, Margaret River


  • April                    “Essence of Heart” – Dilkes-Hoffman Ceramics Gallery, Margaret River



  • “The Other Face”, Margaret River Art Galleries
  • Margaret River Wine & Food Festival


  • Evans & Tate Winery, Margaret River
  • Moss Brothers Winery, Margaret River
  • Smashed Jaffa Art Gallery, Margaret River


  • Margaret River Women Artists, Hawthorn Gallery of Fine Art 274 Gallery, Northbridge


  • Feb – Evans & Tate Winery, Margaret River
  • March – “Crush”, Palandri Wines, Margaret River
  • July – Hawthorn Gallery of Fine Art, Mt. Hawthorn, Perth


  • March – Hawthorn Gallery of Fine Art, Mt Hawthorn, Perth “Margaret (River) to the Mount!”,
  • April – “Press”, Palandri Wines, Margaret River


  • “Spiralling Between the Capes”, Margaret River Artisans Cape to Cape, Holmes A Court Gallery, Vasse Felix Wines, Margaret River


  • “Spiralling Between the Capes”, Margaret River Artisans Cape to Cape, Holmes A Court Gallery, Vasse Felix Wines, Margaret River
  • “Artopia” September 05


  • Xanadu – Margaret River Artisans Cape to Cape
  • Artopia – September 07
  • “Artisans Exposed” – Garden Art studios, Yallingup Galleries


  • Margaret River Wine Festival – Leeuwin Estate Art Gallery
  • Black Swan Portrait Prize Touring Exhibition – Leeuwin Estate Art Gallery
  • “Artisans Exposé” – Mandurah Performing Arts Centre


  • Margaret River Wine Festival, Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River


  • Margaret River Wine Festival, Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River


  • ’15 years of Artisans’, Margaret River Cultural Centre
  •  Margaret River Writers & Readers Festival


  • Feb       Creative Emergence Festival, Leeuwin Estate, Margaret River
  • May      Margaret River Writers & Readers Festival
  •  Oct       Mandjar 10 year anniversary 9 x 5 invited artists, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre
  •  Dec       ‘Oceans to Outback’ Seashells Resort, Mandurah


  • Jan        ‘Oceans to Outback’ Yallingup Hall, Yallingup
  • Jan        ‘Margaret River Goes to Singapore’, Art Apart Fair, Singapore
  • Feb       ‘Oceans to Outback’ Fusion Fine Art Gallery, Subiaco, Perth
  • April       Margaret River Open Studios Art Trail, Dilkes-Hoffman Ceramics, Margaret River
  • May       ‘Margaret River Goes to Singapore’, Affordable Art Fair, Singapore
  • May       Margaret River Writers & Readers Festival Art Exhibition
  • June      ‘Margaret River Romance’, Fusion Fine art Gallery, Subiaco, Perth
  • Dec        Christmas Exhibition, Manyung Galleries, Mt Eliza, Victoria.


  • March   Mandjar Art Award, Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah
  • April      Margaret River Open Studios Art Trail, Dilkes-Hoffman Ceramics, Margaret River
  • April      Foyer Gallery, Margaret River Open Studios, Margaret River Cultural Centre
  • May      ‘Visual Stories’, Margaret River Writers & Readers Festival Art Exhibition
  • October    Winner First Prize Nannup Art Award
  • November    Birdbox Fundraiser


  • March    Newman College Art Exhibition
  • March    Manjar Art Award,  Mandurah Performing Arts Centre, Mandurah
  • March    Painting live @ the Creative Emergence Festival, Margaret River
  • April       Vasse Art Award
  • April       Margaret River Open Studios Art Trail, Dilkes-Hoffman Ceramics, Margaret River
  • May       Mandorla Religious Art Prize Competition
  • June      Cossack Art Award Competition
  • August   Art Extraordinaire, Bunbury Catholic College

“Living the Dream – My Story So Far” by Karin Luciano

I can’t believe that the first time I ever produced a painting was in July 1998 in Derby (north of Broome in Western Australia). I remember my TAFE art teacher artist Mark Norvel, who works intrinsically with the Aboriginal Mowanjam community, encouraged me with his comment that the 3rd of the 9 paintings I had produced during the classes was “a masterpiece”. This gave me the confidence to think of painting as more than just one of my many interests.

One and half years after that series of paintings, I decided to enter the Margaret River Rotary Telephone Directory Cover Art Competition.

I won first prize, but how did I get there’

I did not attend any formal art training nor did I study art at MLC in the high school years. My husband Kim and I worked in the Solomon Islands for 2 years working for Australian Volunteers Abroad as Community Development Workers.

It was at that time in 1990-91 where I started a few sketches of village life and sent them as greeting cards to my relations and friends. I also produced logos for t-shirts with Solomon Islands Development Trust, the NGO we worked for.

After returning to WA via Africa, we loved for a short stint in Narrogin where I volunteered to paint a streetscape mural and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

We moved to Margaret River in 1993, started a family, and during playgroup a friend and myself volunteered to paint a mural to reflect the playfulness of the association. A natural progression was the to paint the toy library walls, the signage on the doors and the Day Care plastic weather blinds.

My interest in painting prompted me to attend a TAFE charcoal drawing class with Trevor Woodward in 1997.

Our family ended up travelling around Australia in 1998 and Kim bought me a set of oil paints and pastels for a Christmas present, as suggested by local artist Suzie Briggs.

Oils never really interested me but I did paint some landscapes in Kununurra and Derby where we settled for a while. We spent most of our time in Derby where the Aboriginal Windjana spirit rock paintings and Kimberley landscapes completely absorbed me.

I then discovered the vibrant watercolour inks that Mark Norvel first introduced to me during the 6 TAFE classes I attended with him. I remember thinking, “this is what I want to do with my life” and my passion for painting was suddenly ignited.

One year later on our return to Margaret River I quickly met the deadline and created a new painting to enter the 2000 Rotary Directory Telephone Cover Competition.

I also exhibited simultaneously 3 paintings that were produced in Derby in the Margaret River Senior High School Educators exhibition, “The Other Face” at the Margaret River Galleries.

My 40th birthday was soon approaching and I hoped that I would sell 1-2 paintings to fund a spiritual journey/painting trip to celebrate the milestone.

I couldn’t afford the framing but my framer upon seeing the artwork thought I had a good chance of selling it and this encouraged me to enter the competition. I was totally overwhelmed and surprised to find that had I not only won the competition with “Rivermouth” and collected the $1,000 prize money, but I also sold the painting and the three others from the Margaret River Gallery. Just enough to fund the tickets and trip for one month to India!

The paintings produced in India all sold quickly and there launched my painting career. I joined Artsource and was awarded my first commission for 6 paintings with The Brass Monkey Hotel and Grape Skin Wine Bar in Northbridge, Perth.

One year later, I approached the newly constructed Palandri Wines in Margaret River and held my first solo exhibition and released a range of greeting cards. I have since exhibited at Coolum Queensland, and sought galleries in Melbourne, Sydney, Hobart and Broome. I held my first overseas exhibition in the Philippines in 2006.

In 2003, I joined the committee of the Margaret River Artisans Cape to Cape artisan group and have assisted in organising and curating the first and second exhibitions at the Holmes A Court Gallery at Vasse Felix.

I also organized a Margaret River all women artists exhibition at a Perth Gallery with a fundraiser that assists women with breast cancer. Most women have so little time in this over busy world with keeping families, house and careers that I feel art can be used a form of relaxation, meditation and promotes self-expression, confidence and self-esteem.

When the Captain Freycinet Hotel (now Quest Apartments ) in Margaret River closed down for refurbishment in 2003, I approached management and put together a business proposal which included an art gallery be sited in the old conference room and themed original artworks to be showcased throughout the complex and apartments.

I was awarded the proposal and opened the River-Crossing Gallery in November 2004 with my 12th solo exhibition, entitled “Conception”.

In my relatively short artistic career I have had 20 solo exhibitions and as many group exhibitions in the last 10 years and I still enjoy painting prolifically.

Karin recently met with Murano Venezia Glass in Venice, Italy in 2010; and has been invited to exhibit and work with them in 2011. She is also working towards an exhibition in Boston, USA in 2011.

As Theo Matthews, prominent architect of Margaret River recently commented,

“You are the Picasso of Margaret River!”

KAREN LUCIANO – Up Close and Personal