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The American West Series

“Getting to Know You”  Oil on canvas 24 in x 24″

Artist Statement

The American West. I love the moments: tooled saddle creaking with the horse’s rhythm; glints of pink and gold on a sorrel’s glossy shoulder; a skinny cowboy crossing his arms and leaning on a corral rail. Impressions like these become a blast furnace of unexpected color in my brain that pulls the rug out from under my urban experience. The myth of the Old West puts a new slant on how I view life.

My paintings are a city slicker’s embrace of sun and pine and dust. A moment between swinging my leg over the saddle and settling into it.  A minute of boot heels clomping on a plank floor. An hour of fiddle music by campfire as the door to yesteryear swings open. My Western Series celebrates this world and those who shared their own West with me.

Artist Bio

Karen Barrie blends her talents and professional training into a multifaceted career. Her Western Series offers a new slant on the Old West. Her oil paintings are inspired by girlhood TV Westerns, and grownup cowgirl days on ranch vacations. Each piece captures a moment of reflection or attitude characterized by a whimsical graphic feel and bold color.

Karen also does freelance writing and consulting in healthcare. Her experience as an educator and psychotherapist led to the publication of a co-authored book on stress management for working women. More recently, she co-wrote the award winning biography of Kenneth Milton Chapman, Santa Fe artist and anthropologist.

Karen’s art has been represented by Joan Cawley Gallery (Santa Fe), Gomes Gallery (St. Louis) and American West Gallery (Chicago).


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