Growing up as an Air Force brat, Karen taught vocal music in the public schools for 30 years. Two years before retirement she began studying figure drawing and painting at the Art Students League of Denver in Colorado, and was a juried member of the Colorado Watercolor Society. She began the study of painting in oil in 1999 at the ASLD.
Karen relocated to the Laguna Beach area after teaching in Bangkok, Thailand during 2001-2002. While living in California she painted the beautiful scenery alla prima, and continued to capture the expression of people on canvas, primarily in oil. She was curator of the Laguna Hills Center Art Gallery, and exhibited her work in area shows and galleries in Orange County. She received numerous awards with her oil paintings of portrait, figure, and plein air, as well as still life. Karen was a member of SOCALPAPA, LPAPA, CA Art Association, and area art associations in OC.
Karen relocated to Denver in 2011 and began the study of abstract painting with Homare Ikeda at the ALSD. She was represented by NEXT Gallery, Gallery at Studio J, and showed her work in area venues and juried shows. She began the studiy of monotype printing in 2016 at the ASLD. She has been juried into numerous shows with her multimedia works, and presently exhibits her art at ROX ARTS Gallery in Aspen Grove, Littleton.
Karen loves the process of painting and enjoys the surprising outcomes of her work which is always colorful, playful and expressive. She likes to use a lot of movement in her brushwork as she did when directing the choirs. She enjoys learning new techniques and methods, and continues to grow in her profession.
“To sincerely express through my painting that which I see in people and nature, and in my mind, in the most colorful and rhythmic manner, is my ultimate goal in art”.
Karen J Shaw