Karen Terhune (a.k.a. Crazy Rock Lady) is a Louisville, Kentucky artist who produces sculpture primarily in limestone, alabaster, soapstone, and marble. Karen’s art is both representational and abstract in female and feline themes. Her creations range in size from tabletop to life-sized works.
Karen began carving professionally following graduation from Bellarmine College (now Bellarmine University) in Louisville, Kentucky. As a student, she worked as an apprentice to Robert Lockhart, sculptor and chairman of the Bellarmine College Art Department. She has participated in one-woman and group shows throughout the state of Kentucky. Most of her work is sold independently through regional art fairs and shows, purchased or commissioned for private collections and public exhibits alike in Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia and Virginia.
The Feline and The Female
The female figure has been a theme in Karen’s work since the beginning. Her work is sometimes abstracted and sometimes more real with a goal to carve a figure that captures a specific emotion or moment.
“My pure abstract pieces are free form works,” says Karen, “I attempt to create a feeling of movement throughout the stone. The shapes I use have an organic feel and look.”
Cats have been a theme since 1996 after finding herself owned by a couple in 1994. Through the course of interaction, they began to influence her work and eventually became a dominant theme in many garden cat sculptures. The cats, like the female sculptures, are never realistically detailed, but are real enough to convey a certain “catness” or emotion.
The idea of combining the two themes was born out of a quote by E.V. Lucas seen on a pet calendar, “Every cat is the most beautiful woman in the room.”
Karen limits the use of any power tools as much as possible, creating mostly by hand. An in-line air hammer assists while carving but all the filing and polishing is done by hand without grinders or sanders to finish the sculpture.