A New Hampshire native, Karen Blackwood received her BA in the Studio Art program at the University of N.H. studying under Conley Harris and Sigmund Abeles, with continued studies at the Art Students League in N.Y. and the Institute of Art in CA. After spending the earlier part of her professional life as an Art Director for a major New York City ad Agency, she moved to California, picked up her brushes and dedicated herself to painting. Trained in the classical tradition, Karen painted portraits and figurative work before focusing on landscapes. As a member of the California Art Club, Karen's new passion for landscapes bloomed among a group of plein-air painters inspired by the rich tradition in California Impressionism. The clubs renowned members include Granville Redmond and Edgar Payne. They, as well as John Singer Sargent, James Abbott McNeil Whistler, Winslow Homer and the Hudson River School Artists are influential to Karen. Like the California Impressionists, light is a defining factor, and it is the atmospheric quality of the light that she captures in her paintings. Her work is a desire to convey an emotional response to the landscape and to attain that perfect state of being that sometimes comes from painting it.
Karen's paintings have been included in exhibitions organized by the Huntington Museum in Pasadena, CA, the Pasadena Historical Society and the California Art Club. Now living in Michigan, Karen has had a solo shows at the Birmingham Community House, the BUC in Bloomfield, MI and the Saline Art Center in Saline, MI.
Karen was among a select group of artists invited to join Plein Air Magazine host, Eric Rhoads, to participate for a week in the Adirondack Publisher Invitational - making her a founding member of the Adirondack School of Painters. Memberships include OPA and The American Society Of Marine Artists. Karen is represented by Susan Powell Fine Art in Madison, Connecticut.
Publications of her work include American Art Collector, Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine and APVM.
Karen has been invited to teach workshops at various centers in Michigan, Connecticut and Maine.