I learned the rudiments of oil painting as a teen from my mother, an art teacher and a
talented artist, but I did not take painting seriously until my early twenties. At that
time I had the opportunity to learn watercolor with a fine teacher, and I took to it
with a passion. For a couple of years then, I spent time experimenting with a variety
of subject matter and watercolor techniques.
I had a serious life change in the 70s that resulted in my being alone with a child and
needing to earn a living. I then embarked on what would become a long, and still
continuing, career in graphic design and illustration. I was fortunate in that I enjoyed
this work, and my design clientele grew rapidly. The downside: for most of the 30 years
I have worked in this field, I had little time to paint as a “fine” artist.
In 2010, I decided to cut back my design/illustration work so that I could go back to
what I loved best - painting in watercolor. Since resuming painting, I have concentrated
on plein air, a natural direction for me, considering that I am a lover of nature and an
This comes to me, no doubt, from my bloodlines. I have Swedish ancestry on both sides of
my family, though most directly through my father. He was the last child of immigrants
(father from Dalsland and mother from Skåne), and was born in the U.S. after their
arrival. His family life followed that of most immigrants of his time. They desired
passionately to become American, and thus Dad did not set foot on Swedish soil till in his
late seventies. And he never did find out he had a whole family still back in the
“old country”. I found these delightful people, though, not long after Dad
passed away, and we have all been happily visiting back and forth ever since.
1065 Los Trancos Road
Portola Valley, CA 94028
web site: http://www.karenolsenfineart.com