Karen Cain
Painting and Mixed Media
Karen Cain Biography

I grew up on the North Shore, playing in the woods and creeks, building forts and climbing trees. These early experiences in nature made an impression on my artistic consciousness that continues to shape and form my paintings. While raising my two children I was interested in their creative abilities and fearlessness in working with

art materials. This interest led to work as a kindergarten supervisor where I structured and taught an art based program.

Upon moving to Alberta I obtained a B. Ed at the University of Calgary and was subsequently art specialist at the University Demonstration School.

A rewarding career in art education followed with opportunities to give workshops throughout North America and Japan. Returning to B.C. I set up my painting studio and began courses at Emily Carr School of Art and Design. My continued interest in teaching was satisfied by doing large scale murals with children in North and West Vancouver schools and instructing printmaking at Arts Umbrella on Granville Island.

My work was accepted into juried shows, including Images and Objects,

B.C. Festival of the Arts, followed by solo shows at The Ferry Building and Richmond

Art Gallery. My paintings have been reproduced in calendar format and are in collections in North America, England and Japan.

My inspiration has always been the physical world of my surroundings; the forests

of my childhood, the expanse and stillness of the prairies, the Shinto temples of Kyoto and the distressed and sculptural rocks of Gabriola Island. My drive is towards continuous creativity in a seamless life, in which each act contributes to the whole - making art, gardening, playing the cello - all are one.

I work intuitively with a variety of media and found objects - acrylic paints, wax, oil stick and plaster, spontaneously using printmaking techniques; photography and incised drawing. The elemental forces of nature on the landscape are evoked through a process of building up the surface of the panel, inscribing organic textural rhythms, and adding subsequent layers of colour. This creates an atmospheric

space where the viewer is free to make their own associations.


The writings of Annie Dillard, the art of Georgia O’Keefe, the poetry of RUMI, the music of Bach, as well as deep friendships with other committed artists continually encourage and support my work. My studio on Gabriola Island is set in a garden that I have worked up like a painting.

Through the mindful act of painting I communicate the interrelationship between nature, art and the spirit.

"Let the beauty you love be what you do,

there are many ways to kneel and kiss the ground"

~ Rumi