Painting for Karen has been more about discovering the right medium than the subject. Her primary medium was oil for twenty years. In 2010 she completed a two year atelier program at Gage Academy to hone her painting skills for oil. Honored to have placed 2nd in Gage's Best of Show 2009 in Landscape. Also was juried into Oil Painters of America that same year; despite these accomplishments—painting in oil was heavy and slow.
In 2012 she looked to the Sumi-e ink artists from Asia and discovered kindred spirits. Inspired, she quickly found that painting with black ink on paper energized her. It forced her to work spontaneously. The simple materials cracked open her imagination. First, humor and whimsy landed on the paper in the shape of birds. She explored and experimented. Even failing was seen as part of the "play" of ink on paper. Mulberry, Unryu and Xuan are some of her favorites. Her paintings of birds, trees and flowers are a blend of western and eastern methods. Her inventive framing without glass allows the viewer to fully appreciate her lively ink work.
Karen has been exhibiting her paintings since 1995. Puget Sound Sumi Association awarded her "Distinctive New Work" in 2016. She participates in solo and group shows from La Conner, Everett, Seattle to Tacoma and Olympia. Georgetown in Seattle is where she can be found playing with her ink.