Karnish is a South African artist. Her art was born out of the statement… “There must be more to life than just this!”

From the innate need to paint, create, discover and serve, the artworks came to life, driven to explore the depths of her soul.
Captivated by the wonder of Being, open-hearted and searching. Seeing fragility, beauty and the unity of all.

Since a very young age, Karen would draw, sketch pad in hand, somewhere outside – enjoying the solitude and peace, doing what she loves best. Art is what inspires, sets free, stills, it is the wings with which we fly.

Living this dream, expressing pure pleasure, seeing the joy in people appreciating art, brings tremendous satisfaction. It connects her to that which is the Same in all of us, the Love that radiates in our cosmos, the Abundance of spirit, the Freedom of heart, the boundlessness of Beauty, the intenseness of being Alive!

Living at the foot of the Magaliesberg mountain range in South Africa (among the oldest mountains in the world, almost 100 times older than Everest) connecting to beauty and stillness comes with ease. The magnificent silence of the night, the splendour and abundance of the day, all reflects in her work. Regularly, the family would escape to the untamed southern coast of Mozambique – this is depicted in her work as well. There in the pitch blackness of night, a connection with the boundless universe can be experienced. In nature it is easy to connect to eternal life and the “I am” of Creation.

Her work portrays emotions and elements, it reflects the playfulness and ecstasy of Being, the limitless Unity in All, the harmonious and subtle elegance of Timelessness, the philosophical Essence of the miniscule and the majestic, the movement and dance of the cosmos – it depicts the magic of Aliveness!

I was born in Pretoria in 1968 on the 25th of November. The youngest of three children, I grew up as an only child as my siblings had left home already. I kept myself busy daydreaming, horse-riding and painting, sketching or making cards for friends and family. Showing an interest in art, my mother supported me, and at the tender age of nine I started art classes at the Pretoria Art Museum. Travelling there was difficult – a journey that consisted of walking great distances, taking two buses, only to be picked up by late afternoon was a scary one – But I persisted and loved every moment of being in a class filled with the smell of paint and paper.

The love for art developed over time and I continued studying art in high school. The rebel in me loved that time of my life, and being surrounded by all the alternative thinkers was a good start to build my foundation on.
I studied a Bachelor of Arts degree and after graduation found myself in the world of print media and advertising.

To take the leap of faith to sell my art was not easy. I’ve always painted… and always gave them away. …And then I got a commission… and another one… With an encouraging mother, Anieta and a supportive husband, Andre, I stepped over the abyss… and flew. I began exhibiting on different occasions and at various venues and as the audience responded, my new-found courage grew and blossomed. Stating “There must be more to life than just this!” took me to the place where I know I can serve others and bring beauty into the world.

The artist name Karnish, was born out of a family conversation – forming a portmanteau with Karen’s niche market. The meaning of the name Karnish touches me deeply – Fortune, health and spirituality. Very versatile, idealistic and intuitive. Stand in service to others. Inherent courage and endurance to accomplish “The Impossible Dream”. With power comes responsibility.


“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” ― Patrick Overton.

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