About Karen Howard

Karen spent her early years on the coast of New England. She was fascinated by the movement of the sea; whether water currents, the ocean's surface or the spectacular explosion of energy and light in a breaking wave.She spent many hours on the water, either swimming, boating or surfing. When she and her husband moved to California, they moved to San Diego to be close to the Pacific.

Karen began her study of art with a pencil and a pad of paper. She progressed to oil painting and received her Associates Degree in Fine Arts.

Karen later discovered the wonders of painting with pastels. The immediacy and tactile nature of this medium suits her needs and has excited her ever since. It has taken many years  to come to the point in her life where she is comfortable  in her ability to capture the movement, the light and the dynamics of the ocean on paper.

After many years, Karen has fallen in love with the process of setting up and painting the contemporary still life. Many of the principles involved in painting the ocean and waves apply. There is a similar pattern of light and form although the elements are stationary. She is drawn to a rather non-subtle palette, which is a departure for her.

Karen's work can be found in numerous collections across the United States.

She is a member of the Pastel Society of San Diego and she was awarded Signature Membership in the Pastel Society of America.  Karen has also achieved Master Circle status with IAPS, the International Association of Pastel Societies'.
Karen hopes that her paintings invite the viewer to take a step closer to examine the fine details in the shadows, reflected light and reflections. She often hears people say, "I can't believe those are pastels."


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