The artist was born in Wiltshire. She completed her Arts Foundation studies at Trowbridge College, Wiltshire, before working for her BA(Hons) in Fine Art Painting at Gloucestershire College of Arts and Technology, Cheltenham (1984-87).
Her exhibitions began in 1975 in Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, where she was teaching, first at the Salisbury College of Art, and then at the Trowbridge College. From 1992 she began to exhibit in Cornwall, her first mixed show being at the Contemporary Gallery, Penzance. Since 1993 she has also undertaken freelance art tutoring at Tate St Ives and the St Ives School of Painting, with an emphasis on individual personal development tutoring for her pupils.
Barbara's first solo show at the Victoria Studios, Penzance heralded an active exhibition programme in West Cornwall. From that time she has held frequent solo shows in various restaurants and gallery venues, in addition to the Geological Museum, Camborne, Cornwall (1998), Truro Cathedral (2003), St Elwyns Church, Hayle, and The Cowhouse Studio, Perranuthnoe. Her work also is shown in mixed selected shows too numerous to mention.
She is a member of STISA.
Painter, draughtsman, teacher of landscapes, figures and animals in mixed media
works and access
Vitreous Catalogue: illustrated: earth, air, water; Penwith Summer, Cudden Point; Cows at Predannack Cliff; West Cornwall drawing; Rain over Trebarvah Farm; curious pig; etc. etc. (in a variety of media)
2005: Vitreous Contemporary Art, Truro (2 person show)
2005: Lemon Street Gallery, Truro ('Critic's Choice', NSA selection by Norbert Lynton) mixed show
2006: The Little Gallery, Oxford
2006: Goldfish Contemporary Art, Penzance (mixed NSA)
2007: Solo, Vitreous Contemporary Art, Truro, Oct-Nov: 'Overview'
Open Studios Cornwall 2022; 2023
Davies, P (2007) St Ives 1975-2005 Art Colony in Transition
NSA (1996) Drawing Towards the End of a Century
Vitreous Gallery (2007) Barbara Karn, Overview Exh Cat (illustrated)
Whybrow, M (1996) Another View, Art in St Ives