In the late 1970s, Karen trained as an artist at Roehampton University in London, and more recently, she studied printmaking at Morley College in Lambeth. Her prints have been exhibited widely in the UK, but they’ve also been shown in France, Germany and the USA.
Karen’s work consists of vibrantly coloured, three-plate etchings and painterly monotypes, which take the landscape for inspiration. Recently, however, her work has become more abstract, as she simplifies shapes and finds patterns within the landscape. Using three metal plates for each print is labour intensive, technically difficult, and requires a great deal of foresight. But for her, there is no other way to achieve the exciting hues and colour combinations she is looking for.
Colour is to her the most thrilling element of the printmaking process. It has remained her passion from her early days of making a print. Sometimes she uses colour independently of the subject, generating light and space by colour alone.
She has always taught throughout her career, sometimes children, sometimes adults, but she loves being able to kindle the creative spark in other people – and this is reciprocated. Some of her own creative ideas are initiated by teaching. When children make a print, there is often an element of spontaneity and humour that is liberating.
She was elected an Associate Member of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers in January 2008. She regularly shows at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition and Originals: The Contemporary Printmaking Show, and her work is held in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the University of Aberystwyth Print Collection.