Karen Novak

North Slave
Primary Art Type: 
PO Box 24
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2N1

Artist Story

I started painting with oils and acrylics a few years ago. At first, it was for something to do when I had some extra time on my hands. I gave myself creative leeway to develop my own style and to really feel the freedom of just creating what I wanted. After I added glow-in-the-dark paint to my artwork, my paintings took on a life of their own. People really like when I incorporate it to my northern light paintings. I especially love to add hidden scenes to my paintings so different images appear at nighttime.

I’ve been playing music since I was 6 years old, and have been working in the music industry most of my life. My whole career has been about music one way or another. That’s actually how I came to Yellowknife – with my band – about 15 years ago. We started Welder’s Daughter and got a three-week contract to play at the Gold Range – and our contract has been extending ever since!

There are always projects on the go with my band, so painting is my relaxing time. I often paint when I get back from a show at 2 am. I love to paint when the world is quiet and everyone is asleep, because it helps me unwind. When I paint, I don’t have to answer to anybody; I can just create, sit back and enjoy whatever happens! I always just start with an idea or something that catches my attention. Sometimes, all it takes is an emotion or a feeling to trigger my creativity.

I constantly draw inspiration from what’s around me, especially when I’m spending time outside. My biggest creative influence has been the ever-changing northern skies. When I paint, my goal is to recreate them in a way that makes them look as real as possible. However, I also just love to enjoy the creative process and see where it takes me. I appreciate having the freedom to create something, and being able to stand back and say: “It’s done, I did that!” I am so excited to see what the future holds!

Artist Bio: 

Karen Novak was born in Edmonton, lived in Vancouver, and came up to Yellowknife as a touring band. Following work opportunities with her band, she locked her feet into the ice and has now been living here for 15 years. An artist in every sense of the word, this singer, writer and professional performer also creates a little magic on canvas with her favorite paints. Karen’s current bestsellers are small northern lights paintings on canvas, with added glow-in-the-dark paint. Karen sells her artwork internationally through her Facebook page: Karen Novak Art. In 2016, Karen attended the Great Northern Art Festival in Inuvik and was pleasantly surprised to win the People Choice Award.  Besides painting, Karen keeps performing with her band under two different stage names: Karen Single band (Original Hard Rock) and Welder’s Daughter (original country and cover songs). Her music can be found at karensingleband.com and weldersdaughters.com.


Last Updated: May 31, 2018

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