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Karen Barbouttis

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Trained in the Animation Studios of Hanna Barbera and Disney, I continued to work in Animation as both an Animator and Character Concept Artist for the next 25 years.

I also worked as an Illustrator for books and product concept art and design.

My work has always centred on, and evolved from, the pencil mark on paper.

I attended the National Art school in 2008-2010 to expand on my art skills, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree, Painting Major, with Distinction across all disciplines. Invited to continue in an Honours Degree in Drawing, I chose to defer and just enjoy being a creative artist. I found that I was irresistibly ‘drawn’ to the simplicity, immediacy, and the honesty, of the pencil line on paper.

In 2011, I entered my first art competition, The Adelaide Perry Prize for Drawing, and was honoured to be announced the Winner for 2011.

Over the next few years I participated in both Solo and Group exhibitions in various galleries, in both Australia and Greece, as well as group exhibitions as finalist in various art competitions.


In my artistic practice the relationship of line, space, and place creates the dialogue that I choose to communicate with the viewer of my works. The subjects I draw are layers of fine vertical lines that create the form and define the subject. These lines are best seen from close viewing as they disappear when viewing from a distance. The vertical line is my “obsession”.

I enjoy the immediacy and simplicity of pencil on paper.

That is the beauty of “The Drawing”. It can be portable, disposable, spontaneous, deliberate, temporary, permanent. A quick sketch that captures the gesture or a detailed drawing that pushes the essence of the gesture to make it a detailed character analysis of the subject.

I walk every day, everywhere. I see things that I want to express as a drawing on paper. Pencil and paper are always on hand to record what I see. That is the beauty of the materials. Their immediacy and availability allow for the spontaneous and the more detailed work. My drawings are more than just drawings of any animal or any place. They are records of the places I have visited and the animals I have encountered in these places.

Pencil on paper is my drawing practice and the starting point to all my artistic practice.


“Drawing the Animal” is a collection of works and part of my continuing theme that All Life Matters.

Too often we look but don’t actually see.
I draw what I see.
The simple materials, pencil on paper, best translate what I see to what I want others to see.
The subjects that I choose to draw are what I see around me. Most times I chance upon them in my own backyard, and my daily walks through the streets, parks, and beaches in my neighbourhood. On other occasions I seek them, when travelling in other countries, in zoos, aquariums, farms, animals shows, and museums. There is endless inspiration 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 observer. As the “artist as observer”, the first thing I 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 I actually see, and it is in that moment also that I realise that all life has a soul, that all life has dignity, that all life has compassion, that all life wants to live. All life matters. Karen Barbouttis.


2020 Art2Muse Gallery, Double Bay, 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