Meet Becky Knold, featured artist for A Christmas Carol

November 16, 2022

An Artist Reception to welcome Artist Becky Knold will be held from 12 – 1pm on Sunday, December 11, 2022 in the State Theater Lobby. All are welcome. Light refreshments will be served.


Becky Knold

Becky’s recent artwork is on display in the Lobby of Harlequin Theater, Olympia, WA, throughout the run of the 2022 season production of The Christmas Carol. In addition, you may notice her artwork featured on the cover of both the 2022 and 2023 Harlequin season brochures. Becky is a local Olympia, WA artist who follows her intuition, a passion for experimentation, and a love of color, form, and texture, to create her artwork. Both subtle and sophisticated, her abstract paintings are influenced by the contemporary Pacific Northwest environment where she lives, as well as by her exposure to East Asian arts, and her keen observation of a broad range of art

“Being an artist means observing closely and responding creatively. My intention is not to record how something appears outwardly, but to express a response to what is not apparent. “                    

“Industrial Strength” by Becky Knold

Knold’s work has been exhibited in galleries and educational settings throughout the Pacific Northwest.  Her work has been purchased by and is included in numerous private and public collections, including UW Medicine, The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and The WA State Dept. of Ecology.


These paintings are an outcome of my recent experimentation with some new-to-me materials and processes. In format and style, the paintings may be recognizable as a continuation of some of my earlier work, yet, larger in size.

Sometimes the discovery of a new material, tool, or process can inspire new possibilities in one’s artwork. For me in this case, the catalyst was the discovery of tar as a painting medium, and tar paper as a surface to paint on.  It was a couple of years ago that I became enamored with tar. Such a beautiful substance – thick, richly hued black and earth tones, shiny, gooey, with a semi-gloss finish that just feels good and honest.  Inspired by artists before me such as Anselm Kiefer, Guy Anderson, Morris Graves, and Theaster Gates, who have used it to great effect, I began experimenting. I found a tar-derived product called roof sealant used by roofers to protect against moisture. It can be thinly applied with a brush or thickly with a trowel. At the same time, I came across another product that was bound to change my work – a deliciously smooth and absorbent black paper, sold in big, wide rolls – “roofing felt” a.k.a. tar paper. When unrolled, it drapes gracefully and can be hung on the wall as a scroll, frameless. Perfect for the large-scale, experimental paintings I wanted to try.

“Stand Tall” by Becky Knold

As for the motivation and theme of these new paintings, they are also consistent with some of my past work. The motivation came, in part, from an inescapable feeling of the increasing “darkness” of our times (which could be discussed at length).  However, I need to add that this perceived condition has also served to reinforce and deepen my desire to focus on and create paintings that affirm the existence of “light” – an affirmation that will add to our sense of well-being and optimism. By overlaying a symbol of hope and beauty (the circle, in golden colors) on top of a starkly dark background, I want to show two sides of the same reality – the dark and the light, the ugly and the beautiful as they exist simultaneously; with the lightness symbolically transcending the darkness. I paint because I love the materials and processes of making art, but when these things can be married to the message – the dualities – inherent in our reality, well, I love it even more!