artist biography

Cara Hines is an expressive abstract artist best known for her extemporaneous work in encaustic, mixed media, and assemblage, as well as her penchant for working with eyes closed. In her previous life, she was an interior designer who paired rusted metal objects with clean, contemporary design in a sophisticated layering of materials, color, and texture. She occasionally writes articles, copy, and poetry, and she explores photography as a way to look more deeply into the world.

Her work often exhibits an ethereal looseness, yet there is an intuitive structure to it. Hers is a process-driven dialogue that gives form to the tenderness and vulnerability of authentic—and sometimes buried—energy born of human emotion.

Cara started life in Childress, Texas, the daughter of a farmer/rancher and a teacher. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Interior Design and Minor in Architecture, and worked in the profession for more than 15 years. Her shift from designer to artist was born out of a need to be less exacting and more spontaneous, as well as the sudden death of her brother in 2010. This lesson in impermanence gave rise to her need to express the full depth and breadth of her internal experience in the moment, and that expression became art.

She has participated in multiple group exhibits in Texas, Virginia and Colorado, and her work hangs in homes and interior projects across the US. Her work can be seen at Studio Comfort Texas–Comfort TX; The Center for Contemporary Arts–Abilene TX; and Darbytown Art Gallery–Fredericksburg VA.

Cara currently lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country where she owns a gallery and teaching studio, Studio Comfort Texas, along with her business partner, Jeannette MacDougall. She shares her life and her frisbee-addicted Australian Shepherd, Ginger, with her partner, Ernest.

artist statement

I make art as part of my meditation and awareness practice. I paint with breath. I express spontaneous vibrational and emotional impulses through layers of line, shape, color and texture. The finished product is not the “why” of what I do. The point at which I stop working on a piece is the form in which it is ready to engage with the viewer. “Finished” is an ambiguous concept for me as I view everything as existing in perpetual incompletion, imperfection, and impermanence.

I am drawn to materials with raw and natural qualities and those that suggest their previous lives and incorporate these with a wide range of artist media, including graphite, soft pastels, oil pastels, inks, markers, watercolors, acrylics, oil paints, and spray paint. My work is more about responding to what is, and less about specificity of material. I travel and change venues a great deal, and I delight in the process of combining materials at hand into a cohesive expression of contextual energies and impulses.

Most recently, I have worked in a focused way with encaustic, which is compatible with the others materials I use. I value it for its depth, luminosity, malleability, nuance, and sculptural qualities. Encaustic’s translucency and immediacy of outcome allow me to express in layers of energy with a unique sensuality and spontaneity.

To view my art is to reflect with it and to engage with my process. To own a piece of my art is to connect with it and integrate it into your life. These are points of relating and dialogue between us, and I thank you, the viewer, for showing up.

— Cara Hines


  • BURNT OFFERINGS: Encaustic Paintings by Cara Hines + Jeannette MacDougall – Studio Comfort Texas, Comfort TX – May 30 thru July 14, 2019

  • SCTX DEBUT EXHIBITION – Studio Comfort Texas, Comfort TX – March 13 thru April 28, 2019

  • ABILENE GROUP SHOW – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – April 3 thru May 18, 2019

  • CCAN JURIED COMPETITION: James Surls, juror – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – November 6, 2018 thru January 26, 2019

  • 27TH ANNUAL BFAC JURIED ART COMPETITION: Beverly Boren, juror – Breckenridge Fine Art Center, Breckenridge CO – September 1 thru October, 2018

  • AMUSE YEUX: A SMALL DELIGHT – Foothills Art Center, Golden CO – August 6 thru September, 2018

  • 7TH ANNUAL ART AT OPOMAC NAT’L FINE ART COMPETITION: Gay Faulkenberry, juror – Old Post Office Museum & Art Center, Graham TX – July thru August 2018

  • SUMMER: Group Show – Darbytown Art Studio & Gallery, Fredericksburg VA – May thru June 2018

  • REPLAY: STORYBOOK ATTIC EXHIBIT – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – May 4 thru August 18, 2018

  • CALYPSO GRAND OPENING: Group Show – Calypso Gallery, Abilene TX – March 24 thru May 2018

  • SPRING: Artist Members Group Show – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – February thru April 2018

  • RISK: Artist Members Group Show – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – November 2016 thru January 2017

  • PROCESSING:  Teysha Vinson + Cara Hines – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – July 7 thru Aug 27, 2016

  • DIVISIONS AND CONNECTIONS: Artist Members Group Show – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – November 12, 2015, thru January 30, 2016

  • OOPS!: Solo Exhibit – The Center for Contemporary Arts, Abilene TX – March 10 thru May 23, 2015