|"The difference between the artist and the non-artist is that the artist never stops playing" - Alex Mozart|
A native of Illinois, Karen is pursuing a lifelong passion of art following thirty one years as a National Board certified teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. Karen discovered the beauty and uniqueness of Key West over twenty years ago. She divides her time with her husband, Scott and their Airedale terrier, Toby, frequently spotted in her paintings.
Upon graduating from the University of Illinois, Karen continued to study art at the Studio in the Woods, Wauconda, Il., and the Main Street Art Center, Lake Zurich, Il. Karen has studied with renowned artists, Sandford Birdsey, JoBeth Gilliam, Michael Ireland, Frankie Johnson, Tom Lynch, Letty Nowak, Jim Salem, and Frank Webb.
In 2010 Karen's work was selected to decorate the remodeled Hyatt Resort in Old Town Key West and is prominately displayed in each room.
National Watercolor Society
Transparent Watercolor Society
Florida Keys Watercolor Society
Lower Keys Artists Association
March 2011: Florida Keys Water Color Society, Caribbean Award
March 2011: Florida Keys Water Color Society, Society Award
March 2009: Florida Keys Water Color Society, Rainbow Award
March 2008: Florida Keys Water Color Society, Society Award
March 2008 Key West Art Center, Honorable Mention
Nov 2010 - So Du Gallery, Key West, FL
March, 2010 - Louies Backyard, Key West, FL
Jan, 2010 - SoDu Galley, Key West, FL
May, 2008 - Suzy Starfish, Key West, Fl.
December, 2006 – Stone Soup Gallery, Key West, Fl.
Painting has been my lifelong passion allowing me to translate and to understand my environment. During my childhood, I was constantly duplicating images, always working to trust my eye and become true to those subjects in my art. My paintings today are an attempt to find that child again, by letting the movement of the brushes, paint, and water dance across the surface of the paper with control and spontaneity.
Using primarily Arches 300# cold press watercolor paper and transparent paints, I attack my subject matter using a loose, geometric, and impressionistic style, always attempting to suggest, rather than render an exact likeness of what I observe in life. My paintings are unlike traditional watercolors in that I use brilliant, fresh colors for my subjects. I constantly work to portray the essence, mood, and character of my images by deliberately planning my composition way before I touch the brush to the paper. I seek to develop the design of each painting through the use of unusual shapes, the relationships of warm and cool colors, and emphasizing the white of the paper against dark contrasts, all with an efficient use of brush strokes.
I love painting architecture because it provides structure to my paintings. Once this is established, I add detailed points of life in the form of soft landscape, animals, vehicles, and people. This creates an interesting dynamic between nature and what man has built creating a constant cycle. Painting on location provides additional challenges that evolve as the piece progresses. Many times my initial plan gives way to improvisation as the environment changes before my eyes. This is when I must allow my original strategies to have options, which is inherent in the paint itself. Watercolor can simply take off on its own, dazzling both the artist and the viewer, revealing discoveries never seen before.
I hope the viewer enjoys my paintings, as much as I did creating them. I hope that my personal vision of the streets of Key West help others to appreciate this unique island.