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. She paints still life works in her studio, as well as plein air paintings outdoors. In her still life works, she captures the essence of domestic life, with careful compositions and vibrant contrasts in light and shadow. By rendering everyday objects with highly energetic, bold brush strokes, she invites the viewer to contemplate the magical quality of the ordinary.
Of her plein air works, she notes: “Plein air is painting what the light reveals – before that light has moved on. 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. Traveling throughout Alberta, and contending with all the challenges of painting outdoors, her works capture 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, Ontario and the United States.