Karen Haines – Brilliance in the Cold


Artist: Karen Haines, 2020

Medium: Oil on board

Dimensions: 8 x 10 inches, framed

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Based in Edmonton, Alberta, artist Karen Haines was born in Ontario and raised by Air Force parents who lived and explored across Canada and Europe. She has been drawing from her earliest memories, and began her studio practice in oils in 2002. Her passion is plein air painting, inspired by the landscape with its changing light and ephemeral qualities. “Plein air is painting what the light reveals – before that light has moved on,” she states. “It, like all else, is temporary. I am grateful for that light and fevered with the desire to try to pin each moment’s beauty down.”

Drawn to the looser energy of painting outdoors, Karen Haines uses small wood panels and a limited colour palette to quickly sketch the patterns of light and dark revealed in everyday life. Traveling throughout Alberta, and contending with all the challenges of painting outdoors, her work vibrates with energy, capturing direct light, reflected light, and diffuse overcast light. Her paintings reveal the artist’s highly nuanced handling of contrasts in light and shadow, giving the viewer a feeling of “being there.” Her work has been shown in exhibitions in Alberta and the United States.