About Me

Hi World!

I'M karen,

My studio is located in Wheeling, IL, approximately 23 mi northwest of downtown Chicago. I hold a BFA in Visual Communications from the Illinois Institute of Art, Schaumburg. Constantly conflicted about being a graphic designer or an artist, I eventually learned that both disciplines fuse together and compliment one another. My graphic design career now takes a back seat to full time painting but those skills are what make my color choices and compositions strong.
My oil paintings fuse traditional art principles with exploratory techniques and materials. Working from direct observation and through abstraction I examine the elusive quality of light and the complexity of nature. Soulful marks and energetic colors create an emotional connection to light and form that directs my imagination
into existence.

To see my full CV, please click here.

My art business has been designated as a "Trusted Art Seller" with The Art Storefronts Organization, which means you can shop with confidence, and know that I stand behind the quality and value of my products.


My passion for art comes from being constantly curious. I am inspired by my adventures, nature, history, space, being around other creative people, powerful
music, and a symbolic allegory.


Creating complex transparent layers with cold wax and other mediums I can achieve a depth in my work allowing elements to push and pull the viewer through a visual story. Many unconventional tools are used in my process. To see a video of my Limited Edition Print,

click here.

career highlights

I have been an art instructor for over 30 years and continue to share my passion for art with students of all ages. My work has been exhibited in group and solo shows receiving numerous prestigious awards. Many paintings are currently represented in galleries across the country and internationally.


1013 York St Cincinnati, OH 45214 United States (513) 723-1222

10331 N Main St, Richmond, IL 60071 United States (847) 497-0071

30 Old McHenry Rd, Long Grove, IL 60047 United States (847) 383-5912

16 East Mainstreet Lake Zurich, IL 60047 United States (847) 550-0016


Neofitou Vamva 5 Athens, Kolonaki 10674 - artappelgallery@gmail.com

I absolutely love plein air painting but must admit I am a fair weathered fan and don't get out much in the winter or when it's super hot out. As much time as possible is spent painting outdoors and sketching with friends. Every year I will enter a few plein air painting competitions but I mainly use the experience as practice and inspiration for my larger studio work.

I am always entering shows and looking for new places to exhibit my work. While making sales and winning awards are a huge incentive, the best thing about attending shows is forming connections with other artists and collectors. We need to share our passion to inspire and be inspired!

NOAPS - National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society
NSAL - North Shore Art League, Winnetka, IL
Suburban Sketchers, Long Grove, IL

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