Karen Bezuidenhout


Woman with White Dove

48″ x 48″

Acrylic, House Paint, and Oil Stick on Canvas



Fairy Terns

36″ x 36″

Acrylic on canvas



Sunset Ponies

36″ x 36″

Acrylic on canvas


About the Artist

Santa Barbara based artist, Karen Bezuidenhout, was born and raised in the wine country of Stellenbosch, South Africa. It was there that her lifelong love of nature, riding horses and sense of adventure began.

One rainy night in 1996 in Stellenbosh, Karen attended an art exhibition. “I walked in, looked around, and literally knew with every atom of my being that I wanted to paint”. The next day, she joined the art school, which was situated in an old wine cellar and run by artist, Pieter Vermaak. In 1999, Karen relocated with her husband and two small children to San Francisco. It was a challenging transition. “After leaving the autumn drenched wine lands of South Africa, it felt like someone had turned the lights off.” In search of the sun, Karen and her family moved to Santa Barbara.

In Santa Barbara, she was introduced to a wonderful painter in his 80’s, by the name of Bill Woolway. They became firm friends and Karen was highly influenced by Bill’s work. A few years later, a close friend sent Karen’s portfolio to the buyer of Robert Redford’s Sundance Catalog. Three of her paintings were featured on the cover of the catalog, and thereafter, many doors opened.

Karen’s rich, earthy palette is drawn from her life in Africa, and is now complimented with vibrant blues, greens and whites from the ocean, reflecting her California lifestyle. Her subject matter ranges from horses, trees, birds, and landscapes, to lovers, beaches and sailboats and are a tapestry of her experiences and imagination. She travels to Africa twice yearly, participating in extended rides across the Namib desert of Namibia, or up the Wild Coast of the Eastern Cape with her sister. Travels to Europe, daily hikes in the Santa Barbara mountains, and a love of animals, nature and life in general, are reflected in Karen’s painting – and there is usually a story behind each piece. She uses colors and shapes that evoke emotions. Her paintings have been described as “primitive, yet sophisticated”, “medicinal”, “healing,” “comforting” and “peaceful”. They can be found in homes from Los Angeles to New York, South Africa, Europe, South America, Mexico, Australia and Morocco.

Karen paints mostly in acrylic and mixed media at her Santa Barbara studio, surrounded by her dogs, and usually listening to the music of Van Morrison.  “I paint from my heart. My paintings are about love.”

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