Our Artists

Karen Gourley

I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. My own interest in art was from a young age and I remember fondly that I was always happiest with a pencil and paper sitting in my grandparents house drawing my grandmother’s brass ornament collection of animals. I studied art, art history and photography after leaving school but later went on to pursue a career in accounting.

I have always kept my interest in both art and photography alive and when I attended an art workshop in 2014, I discovered soft pastels and my love of painting was reignited. I knew this was the medium in which I wanted to develop and began producing my own series of wildlife pastel paintings and taking commissions.

A move from London to New Zealand and a strong interest in wildlife and conservation projects has lent itself to be the subject of my recent paintings and the immediacy and vibrancy of soft pastels allow me to achieve the level of detail in each painting that I am known for. I work in a realistic style and strive to bring life and personality to my subject.
I have been a member of PANZ (Pastel Artists New Zealand) since moving to New Zealand in 2017.



Purely Pastel National Exhibition - Online Exhibition
The Cleveland National Art Awards - Dunedin Railway Station

Darfield Artweek 2020

Purely Pastel National Exhibition - Percy Thomson Gallery, Stratford

Purely Pastel National Exhibition - The Aigantighe Art Gallery, Timaru