Born in Sydney, Karen Barbouttis has an artistic practice that has developed out of a principally self-taught tradition.
While completing a degree in Psychology, Karen sought employment at the Hanna Barbera Studios in Sydney where she was trained in animation, as an animator. This was a field in which she continued to work over the next twenty–five years, working in various studios in both Sydney and Melbourne, such as The Disney Studios, Yoram Gross Studios, Burbank, Unlimited Energee, Energee Entertainment, and Mickey Duck Studios. Karen also worked in concept art, creating and designing both finished art and merchandise for companies in the United States, such as Harveytoons, Warner Brothers, and Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.
Working in book illustration, one of her collaborations with Dr Sandra Cabot resulted in a series of books that made the best-selling lists across Australia.
Always working in the artistic field, but never engaging in any artistic practice of her own, Karen enrolled in the National Art School in Sydney in 2008. She graduated in 2010 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting Major, with Distinction, but it is the discipline of drawing to which she has returned to explore. Deferring an acceptance of enrolment in Honors Drawing at the National Art School, the year of experimentation and exploration developed into a valuable learning experience.
In 2011, the selection of Karen’s work as Winner of The Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing was a career highlight.
I draw what I see
“The subjects that I choose to draw are taken from what I see around me. Most times I chance upon them in my own backyard, and on my daily walks through the parks, beaches and streets in my neighbourhood. On other occasions I seek them, when I am travelling in other countries, or at zoos, aquariums, farms, animal shows, and museums. I have endless inspiration all around me that will keep me drawing for the rest of my life.
I enjoy observing animals and their interactions with their environment, with each other, and with the artist as the observer. As the ‘artist as observer’, the first thing I always want to capture is that moment when the animal I am either watching, drawing or photographing, actually watches me. Eye contact with an animal is a special feeling as it is in that moment that communication happens, it is in that moment that I actually ‘see’, and it is in that moment also that I realise that all life has a soul, that all life wants to live, that all life has dignity, that all life has compassion …that “ALL LIFE MATTERS.” Karen Barbouttis
Karen is available for commissions
2010 Bachelor of Fine Arts (Painting Major), National Art School, Sydney
1985 Bachelor of Arts (Psychology Major), University of NSW, Sydney
2000-2009 Illustration, Signum Graphics, Sydney
1999-2000 Character Design, Concept and Finished Art, Website Animation, Energee Entertainment, Sydney
!995-98 Illustration and Book Illustration, Signum Graphics, Sydney.
Book Illustration, Murray David Publishing, Sydney
Concept Art and Finished Illustration, VB Concepts, Sydney
1993-94 Cartoon Animation, The Disney studios, Sydney
1991 Cartoon Animation, Unlimited Energee, Sydney
1990 Storyboards, Character design, Animation, Yoram Gross Studios, Sydney
Illustration and Cartoon Animation, Burbank Studios, Sydney
Tee- Shirt design, Everything Australian Stores, Sydney
1989 Cartoon Animation, Mickey Duck Studios, Melbourne
1978-1988 Cartoon Animation, Hanna Barbera Studios, Sydney
2018 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, Sydney
2017 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, Sydney
2016 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, Sydney
2015 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, Sydney
2015 “Lemnos – the Greek Dimension in the Anzac Centenary”, an Exhibition presented by the Embassy of Greece in Australia, Canberra.
2015 “In Red – 100 years from the Battle of Gallipoli” . Ochra Gallery, Thessoloniki, Greece.
2014 “Creatures”. Solo exhibition, S.G. art gallery, Athens, Greece.
2014 “Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing”. PLC Sydney.
2013 “Sydney Childrens Hospital Spring Exhibition”. Sydney Childrens Hospital, Randwick.
2013 Flanagan Art Prize, Ballarat.
2013 “Flora and Fauna”. Syndicate at Danks, Sydney
2013 Wilson Visual Arts Award, Lismore
2013 “St Spyridon College The Arts Exhibition 2013”. Invited Artist, Sydney
2013 Waverly Art Prize, Bondi-Waverly School of Arts, Sydney
2013 “All Creatures Great and Small”.Solo exhibition, Art2Muse, Sydney.
2013 “Nurturing Hellenic Heritage the Australian Way”. Hellenic Lyceum Sydney, Parliament House, Sydney.
2013 “Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing”. PLC, Sydney
2012 “The Mortimore Prize”. Sydney.
2012 “arc Yinnar Biennial Art Prize”.
2012 “Hunters hill Art Exhibition”. Sydney
2012 “Animals Exhibition”. Syndicate at Danks, Sydney
2012 “Drawings from The Animal Walk”. St Vincents Hospital, Sydney.
2012 “BSG Works on Paper Prize”. Fitzroy.
2012 Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
2011 “Drawings from The Museum of Life”. St Vincents Hospital, Sydney.
2011 “Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing”. PLC, Sydney.
2010 “Selected Student Graduate drawing Exhibition”. National Art School, Sydney.
2010 National Art School Graduate Show, Sydney.
2009 “Exhibition of Selected Student Sketchbooks”. Stairwell gallery, National Art School, Sydney.
2009 “A Week on Cockatoo.”, Selected Student Work from the National Art School, Cockatoo Island, Sydney
National Art School Student Collection, Sydney
Pymble Ladies College, Sydney
St Vincents Hospital, Sydney
Commissions and Private collections
2014 Finalist, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
2013 Finalist, Flanagan Art Prize
2013 Finalist, Wilson Visual Art Award
2013 Finalist, Waverly Art Prize
2013 Finalist, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
2012 Finalist, Highly Commended, arc Yinnar Biennial Drawing Prize
2012 Finalist, The Mortimore Art Prize
2012 Finalist, Commended, Hunters Hill Art Prize
2012 Finalist, BSG Works on paper prize
2012 Finalist, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
2011 Winner, Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing
2014 The K- magazine, September. Athens,
2014 clickatlife.gr, October. Athens
2014 Athinorama, October. Athens
2014 Art22.gr,October, Athens.
2014 artandlife.gr, October. Athens.
2014 artmag.gr, October. Athens.
2013 The Cosmos Newspaper, April. Sydney.
2011 Art Monthly, #238, April. Sydney.
2011 Australian Art Collector, February
2011 Imprint Magazine, Winter, Vol 46, Number 2. Sydney