A mother and grandmother, Karen was born and raised in Hamilton and has been interested in art her whole life. Taking private drawing lessons as a child with Juanita LeBarre Symington, specializing in art studies throughout high school and receiving three honours certificates in fine arts from Mohawk College has helped keep art a central component of her life. As a lifelong learner Karen is always looking for new techniques and enjoys the opportunity to try all forms of media. She has worked in pencil, ink, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, encaustic, coloured pencil, acrylic, Chinese Brush Painting as well as ceramics and silver smithing. Originally a mechanical draftsperson and technical illustrator, Karen now works part time for two not-for-profit, industrial environmental organizations. Although there isn’t much time left each week she still makes time to continue her painting and hopes one day to retire to do it full time. Karen most enjoys painting botanicals, birds and animals in fine detail and shows her work at McMaster Innovation Park, juried shows and local fall fairs. Over the last few months her work has won “best in show” awards at several fall fairs and most recently she was awarded honourable mention at the Botanical Artists of Canada juried exhibition at the Papermill Gallery at Todmorden Mills in Toronto for her first ever coloured pencil illustration.
Her love of nature and Ontario’s native plants has been the focus of her most recent works as she tries to capture the beauty of these sometimes elusive plants.
She has recently discovered there are many other groups that share this style and love of nature so she has joined the Southern Ontario Nature and Science Illustrators (SONSI) and the Botanical Artists of Canada (BAC) to learn from others and grow as an artist. Through meeting others she has been encouraged to experiment with different media and is excited to see where this will take her.