About the Artist
Education: Her love for creativity continued to grow in various forms over the years. After earning a BA in Interior Design and Fine Arts and an MA in Clothing and Textiles from Eastern Michigan University, Karen designed and made clothing for over 20 years. During this time the painting and writing were often, but not entirely, put on hold. Fine Arts training in college had developed a greater understanding and appreciation of varied art styles, so the urge to paint remained strong inside.
Inspiration: Karen's greatest inspiration came after college from studying the dramatic lighting techniques of the Old Masters; Rembrandt, Degas, Vermeer, Renoir and John Singer Sargent from books and videos. Sargent's use of fresh, light-filled color with luscious brush strokes, kept enticing her back to the canvas. Advanced, private training from Master painters in oil, David Weaver and watercolor, Joseph Fettingis, transformed Karen's level of expertise and motivation. The suppressed artwork needed to be released. Finally the paintings began to surface. Impressionism to Classical Realism, portraits, landscapes and still life emerged in oil and watercolor. Hunger for more inspiration now comes from close observation of works by Daniel Gerhartz and Vladimir Volegov.
Children's Books: Also along the way, to her delight, an excitement for writing and illustrating children's books surfaced in her creative world. Time spent at writing conferences gave foundational training for developing characters and stories. Advanced training in writing and illustrating opened up a flourishing fountain of fresh ideas. Karen has 6 published books she wrote and illustrated and one just illustrated about a 6th grade girl who self-harms. Also published is a card game that goes with one of her books on bullying in schools. Visit karendeanchildrensbooks.com for more information.
Originally from Michigan, Karen and her husband, Dave, now reside in East Texas. Inspiring and encouraging others to use the gifts they've been given happens often at speaking engagements, art shows, book signings, and studio visits. It's one of Karen's greatest joys to share her creative journey, as God directs her footsteps and brushstrokes.
"Each new painting is an adventure to see where God will take me next. What a privilege it is to paint family treasures that will bless people's lives for generations to come."