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Recent Paintings (9)

Created on: 03 Aug 2016
"Karen Halbert, a former computer scientist and college professor of Mathematics, transforms the beauty and patterns she sees in the numerical universe into the natural world of her paintings. Dynamic symetry contributes to the underlying harmony of her pictures. Halbert spent her childhood in the American west and, following in the footsteps of many artists, returned to her roots to capture on canvas the particular quality of the Southwest. Though it is in Santa Fe that Karen has found her true home, she can be seen painting en plein-air in the fields throughout New Mexico as well as in locations such as the Grand Canyon, the Pacific coast of California and on the beaches of Hawaii. In her studio Halbert uses sketches and photographs from her plein-air work to create images full of the emotions she feels while working out-of-doors.
"Karen Halbert works in a tradition which springs from the French Barbizon School. As pre-cursors to Impressionism, French Barbizon painters had moved from the city of Paris to the countryside and were painting in situ and directly from nature for the first time in art history. Their studio was the Forest of Fontainebleau, a former hunting park of French kings, which Louis IX referred to as “his wilderness.” Here in New Mexico the arts of both traditional Pueblo and Hispanic communities are rooted in the belief that landscape is sacred. In her series of pictures, Return to the Rivers, Halbert embodies an identification with the land as a creative font that goes back centuries in this State, but that is also a universal theme. The title of her series is a reference to the mystical holy rivers of the Himalayas, where celebrated philosopher, humanitarian, author, chef and friend, Vikas Khanna, grew up."
Karen is represented by the Marigold Gallery on Canyon Road, Visit to view paintings on her website as well.
She is the PAPNM Webmaster.
  • "Devil's Canyon" 9x12, oil. "En plein air" at one of my favorite painting sites, down a long dirt road near our house. This site is marked for development, but it at least will be open to the public.
  • (SOLD)"Chama River Morning", 9x12, oil. Painted "en plain air" in the late Spring when the snow was still on the Taos Mountain. Juried in to the Plein Air PAPNM 8th National Juried Members Show
  • (GIFT) "Santa Fe River Turbulence", 10x16, oil. Award winning painting in the 2016 Plein Air Artist of Colorado Annual Juried Member Show.
  • "New Mexico Evening", 12x16, oil. Sold. I experimented with small touches of a palette knife in the water, foliage and fields.
  • (GIFT) "Kawela Winds", 5x7, oil. Painted with a palette knife and water based oils on the North Shore of Oahu, my childhood home. I tried to capture the sense of the high winds and waves.
  • (Sold) Chama River Sunset, 16x20. oil. Started this with a sketch based on an older painting of the Chama River. Completed using a sunset photo. The end result might lead to a new style. Sold.
  • Taos Gorge Light Play, 5x8. Exclusively palette knife with water based oils. Golden rectangle proportion. Small horizontal studio version of a plein air from a few years ago. Sold.
  • (SOLD) Cliff Drama, 5x7, oil.I am enjoying doing these small renditions of the New Mexico cliffs that I love. Sold at the Marigold Arts Gallery early July 2018

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