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Karen Laird

Karen Laird
  • Work
  • Biography
Karen Laird is a Scottish Landscape painter.  She grew up in Orkney and is currently living in Edinburgh.  Her inspiration comes both from the rugged cliffs and shorelines of the Orkney landscape, and the beautiful vistas from Edinburgh's hills.

Whether setting off with a rucksack full of painting gear out over the cliffs in Orkney, or taking a small easel or even some rolled up canvas up a hill in Edinburgh, being immersed in the landscape helps to create more responsive, fresh and alive works. Painting outside means to be responding to each moment with brush and colour, to each change of shifting light and ultimately this way of working is what she loves most of all, sometimes finishing full paintings plein air, sometimes being outside walking, sketching and photographing to collect enough ideas and information to create bigger more studied works in the studio.

Once Karen finds a place to paint that resonates with her, she will return many times, creating a series of paintings from different spots along a walk, on different days with different weather, often in different seasons, and even over many years, this is true of both Dingeshowe and Mullhead in Deerness, and Holyrood park in Edinburgh.  She likes to make paintings that portray what she enjoys about the natural world, a series of little moments all contained together in one image, a collection of marks made into one picture that captures the atmosphere and drama of the landscape in a joyful and colourful way.
Leith School of Art, The Painting course 2010-2012
Edinburgh College of Art. BA(hons) design and applied arts 1996-2001

The painting course prize. Leith School of art. 2012.

2023.Edinburgh Macmillan Art Show, St John's church, charity exhibition
2023. The RSW 142nd Open Annual Exhibition, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, selected open show.
2022. Lockdown walks. The Orchard Bar and Restaurant, Edinburgh, solo show.
2022. The Aberdeen Artists Society Exhibition, Aberdeen Museum and Art Galleries, selected group show.
2021. The Scottish Drawing Competition, Artspace 37, Paisley, selected group show.
2021. Jacksons Painting Prize longlist, (online exhibition), selected
group show.
2020. Coming home. The Aberdeen Artists Society annual show, (virtual exhibition), selected group show.
2020. The Paisley Art institute 132nd Annual open exhibition. (virtual exhibition), selected group show.
2014. The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize. The Mall galleries, London, selected group show.
2012. Leith School of Art end of year exhibition, Edinburgh, group show.
2011. Society of Scottish Artists, The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh, selected group show.

2011. Leith School of Art end of year exhibition, Edinburgh, group show.
2010. The Aspect Prize exhibition, Paisley, selected group show.
2010. Karen Laird paintings, The ​Espanade, Edinburgh, solo show.
2009. Art Liberating Lives, The Mall Galleries, London, selected group show.
2006. Portobello Paintings, The place by the sea, Edinburgh, solo
2001. Degree show, Edinburgh college of art.
1999. Glassworks, Edinburgh college of Art, group show.

Fox tree, Holyrood Park
  • Karen Laird
  • Fox tree, Holyrood Park
  • Acrylic
Golden hour, Holyrood Park
  • Karen Laird
  • Golden hour, Holyrood Park
  • Acrylic
Midsummer, Rackwick
  • Karen Laird
  • Midsummer, Rackwick
  • Acrylic
St  Margaret’s Loch, Holyrood Park
  • Karen Laird
  • St Margaret’s Loch, Holyrood Park
Summer at Duddingston Loch
  • Karen Laird
  • Summer at Duddingston Loch
  • Acrylic
Duddingston Loch
  • Karen Laird
  • Duddingston Loch
  • Acrylic
Rainy Day at Mullhead
  • Karen Laird
  • Rainy Day at Mullhead
  • Acrylic
Calton hill from the gorse at Holyrood Park
  • Karen Laird
  • Calton hill from the gorse at Holyrood Park
  • Acrylic