Karen has always been interested through readings and travel in ancient cultures and their customs, dance, music, poetry, and visual arts and other forms of creative expression. Her travels took her to American Indian sites in many areas of the United States, the Mayan ruins in Central America, Cambodia, Greece, Egypt, Morocco, Spain, France, Italy, Turkey, the British Isles, the Caribbean, and Canada. Using these travels as an impetus for further exploration as she became more fascinated with each culture that she studied, the influences and mark making techniques of the cultures were absorbed into her psyche and in her artwork. She decided to focus on these ideas and finished an MFA degree in painting at Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford. In this program, she studied with N.Y. artist, Susan Wilmarth Rabineau, wife of the deceased minimalist sculptor, Christopher Wilmarth.
Through this study of European and Asian cultures Karen became more intrigued by the layering of each segment of history, the evocative calligraphic line, the various mixed media materials and the effect that light played in an artwork. Here she reduced her images to a more simplified format and became excited by working with just the formal elements in an artwork rather than replicating what exists in nature. Transcending the natural and exploring a window into an internal world these explorations led her to experiment further with creating ideas through her use of unconventional materials such as cold wax, natural objects, scraps of cloth, objects, and impasto oil paint. In addition she continues to evolve while creating various techniques of applying the paint to its surface. Her explorations have a far eastern influence, which informs her artwork and is a result of her interest and study of yoga and Buddhism and travels to Japan, China and Thailand. The primitive marks, color, texture, innate light, stained asymmetrical compositions and line direct one to focus on these clues leading to a spiritual place.
Karen's artwork has been shown both nationally (in New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts) and internationally and is part of many private and corporate collections.