Karen is a Professor in the Department of Art and Design at Eastern Kentucky University where she has taught since 1987. She has a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of Louisville and an M.F.A. in Painting and Drawing from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. Karen has been honored with numerous awards and fellowships, including a 1992 Al Smith Fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council, a 2000 Professional Assistance Award and a 2007 Professional Development Grant from the Kentucky Arts Council, two fellowships from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, and a 2008 Research Award from Eastern Kentucky University. She have traveled, taught and exhibited regionally, nationally, and in Europe. Her work is represented in numerous private and public collections.
My artwork can be generally described as autobiographical. The imagery comes from real-life observations and experiences, but may be combined with forms and spaces that are less controlled, less defined. My work often has a narrative quality to it; sometimes there is an element of mystery--a tension between what is known and what is felt, what is descriptive and what is abstracted. I am interested in the magical beauty seen in everyday life. Painting and drawing are my passions, and I alternate working from observation with working in a more intuitive manner. In the past few years, I have been dealing more with the subject of the domestic arena—particularly the environment I live in. Much of my recent work has been completed from observations of the landscape at the back of my home near Lexington. The creek that runs through our property is a tributary of the South Elkhorn. The changing light, color, and vegetation offer seemingly endless opportunities for me to explore color, value and surface relationships that I find both challenging and beautiful.
I became very inspired by what was going on around me and my environment