Cairns, Karen Curriculum Vitae

Born in Edinburgh, Karen Cairns is an Architect and an Artist. Her bold and colourful watercolour paintings have tempted private and public collectors worldwide.

Her paintings hang in Strathclyde University, Alexander Graham Bell Bar in George Street, Edinburgh, and the Royal College of GPs in Euston, London. Her painting of Edinburgh�s Ramsay Garden was the main illustration for Edinburgh Art Fair in November 2009, on the front of the opening night invites and a 40ft long billboard. Karen�s first solo show in Scotlandart.com Glasgow Gallery in May 2011 attracted over 150 people to the opening night.

She works predominately in watercolour in a loose impressionistic style, painting urban streetscapes and the harbour scenes of the east and west coasts of Scotland. She has mastered the demanding medium of watercolour to the point where she can capture scenes of complex draughtsmanship with a mixture of loose brushstrokes and a measured sense of the paint�s unpredictable behaviour when applied wet onto wet. Karen aims to delight using her ability to capture the vagaries of restless weather and the rare moments of light which transform familiar urban settings into living art.


Selected Exhibitions

2013 Albergo Villa Casanova in collaboration with scotlandart.com, Lucca, Tuscany
2013 Dundas St. Gallery, Edinburgh
2012 The Overt Gallery, East Ayrshire
2012 The Art Club, Glasgow
2012 House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
2011 Solo show at scotlandart.com, Glasgow
2011 The Art Club, Glasgow
2011 RGI NFF Architectural Drawing Competition Exhibition
2009 Morningside Gallery, Edinburgh
2009 MacGregor Fine Art, Glasgow
2009 - 2013 The Jerdan Gallery, Crail
2009 - 2012 scotlandart.com gallery, Glasgow and Edinburgh
2008 - 2012 Glasgow and Edinburgh Art Fairs
2008 Stirling Art, Stirling


Artist�s Statement

I paint the effect of light on familiar urban settings. My favourite times are early morning and evening, and I try to capture the intense colours in the sky and reflections in water, wet pavements and even puddles. The cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh provide stunning backdrops and there is so much beauty to be captured that I am never stuck for a subject.

Watercolour is a fascinating medium and I love the excitement of loosely applying paint to wet paper, trying to exploit the paint�s natural freedom yet remaining in control