Karen moved to the San Francisco Bay Area from Atlanta, Georgia in 1989. She was immediately struck by the natural beauty that enveloped her and was inspired to move back into drawing and painting from the world of photography. She states: "I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to live in California surrounded by the magnificent landscape with it endless variety. Painting allows me to closely examine nature and I now notice everyday things that otherwise would have passed me by. Times slows down when you paint or sketch. It's magical." She works in both oil and pastel mediums and believes that one enhances the other. Currently, she is primarily focused on figure in landscape and prepares by painting small studies outdoors in the plein air style. She believes that these studies improve the larger, finished pieces by enabling her to capture and recreate more accurate color and atmosphere. It also develops her "artist memory" when racing the clock and observing the changes in light that only occurs when painting plein air. Her work is in private collections across the U.S. and Italy. In addition she has received numerous awards in various juried events, plein air competitions and exhibits.