Karen Scharer



"My art reflects my faith in imagination and intuition, and my passion for exploring and communicating the profound beauty of our world and the human experience. Through painting, my ideas and visions become tangible, providing a language to encourage, share, inspire, and uplift.  Each painting evolves as if it were a conversation between old friends… sometimes lighthearted and joyful, sometimes contentious or troubling. As a result, every painting is as individual as the moment in which it was created."

Although I was born to artist parents and showed some early interest in drawing and painting, I did not give in to the urge to paint seriously until the mid-1980s.  I graduated from the University of Montana in 1975 with a degree in Natural Resource Management, a reflection of the love of the outdoors that I learned from my father at an early age.  In 1976, a job with the Forest Service took me from Montana to Boise, Idaho and eventually led to a job with IBM. In 1985, I married my husband Al, and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico.  It was there that I began to paint, with tremendous teaching and support from some remarkable artists, and I quickly began showing and selling my work. In 1991, Al and I moved to Colorado.  After 17 very educational years, I left IBM in 1997 to devote my time to my art. Today I live and work outside Estes Park, Colorado where my studio is surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest.  From my windows I can see amazing sunrises, and watch beavers and ducks going about their day on the lake below. It’s a good life, and I am truly grateful to be living it this way.


About the Process

My paintings begin as a series of loose glazes of color.  As shapes and impressions emerge, successive layers of transparent and opaque paint are applied to develop and enhance the structure, design, and impact of the piece.  These layers produce an infinite variety of hues and effects which cannot be achieved solely by mixing color on the palette. The interplay of contrast, movement, texture, balance, shape, line and color creates images that draw the viewer into the creative process, inviting them to see not just with the eye, but also with the heart. Inspiring the viewer to respond to the images I have created is a critical part of bringing each painting to life.