My parents were both artistic. My mother was a watercolorist and my father a woodworker. In fact my mother's paintings look very similar to my own.
Much of my time when I was in high school was spent drawing. In fact the way I paint now is very much like drawing with paint. I use Windsor and Newton watercolors and tiny sable brushes. Most of my botanical work is painted on calfskin vellum which gives the work a translucent quality.
When I find a subject I want to paint I often know right away. Sometimes something looks so absolutely perfect you can't believe it. Like the Tamora Rose bush that I purchased because of its one exquisite blossom. Or the perfect looking Oyster Mushroom I found in the grocery store. I have never seen another quite like it.
Once that perfect inspiring subject is found you feel driven to try and capture its beauty in the painting!
Although Karen has always been a professional artist her career has evolved through the years. After graduating from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA she worked as a freelance illustrator based in New York.
She worked for Dannon, Ragu, Calvin Klein, IBM, the Atlantic Monthly, Nestle, and many more.
Her work was seen on packaging, point of purchase displays, book and magazine covers, and even a billboard.
Over time she was best known for her food packaging. As illustrations were executed less frequently by hand Karen worked as a decorative painter and did gallery work.
Then one day she went to an American Society of Botanical Artists International show. She thought botanical work would be a good fit for her since she had experience as an illustrator painting fruits, vegetables, herbs, etc. on food packaging.
Each year since she has exhibited in the ASBA's International Exhibition. She has won the Bouchier Award for Excellence in Botanical Art in 2010, Best in Show 2010, Best Painting in Show 2008,
Talas Award 2009 and the New York Central Award 2012 all in the American Society of Botanical Artist's International Exhibits.
Her work is in the New York Botanical Garden's Historical Library as well as the Alisa and Isaac M. Sutton Collection, and many private collections.
She teaches at the New York Botanical Garden, has occasional workshops and recently taught a master class at the American Society of Botanical Artist's convention.