Karen Offutt was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by a creative family who encouraged her to explore her artistic talent from an early age. Her father is an artist and her mother is a designer and owner of a needlepoint company. Throughout her formative years, Karen excelled in art classes and participated in several art exhibits. She studied at North Texas State University in search of a more formal fine arts education. As a young adult she sought a more serious outlet for her talent.
The turning point in her career came when she made the decision to study abroad and committed herself to becoming a fine artist. As so many artists before her had done, Karen left home to live and paint in Paris, France for three years. While there she spent a considerable amount of time in galleries and museums where she was exposed to an abundance of art genres ranging from classical to contemporary. Immersing herself completely in her craft, Karen painted with local artists and also attended classes and the Academie de Beaux Arts. Much of her work today is reflective of the time she spent painting and living in Paris.
Now working from her studio in Austin, Karen approaches her paintings with an atmospheric sensitivity combining shape, tone line, and color. The inspiration of her preferred subject matter comes from daily life, where the awareness of her surroundings is embodied in her work. This is most evident with the urban landscapes where individuals interact in natural settings. Nothing is staged, and the expressions are honest and without reservation. “As and artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me.
SELECTED AWARDS & HONORS
- 2003 Salon International Greenhouse Gallery, Honorable Mention
- 2005 Salon International Greenhouse Gallery, Honorable Mention
- 2002-2006 Annual Two Person Show, Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX
- 2004 Introductions, Greenhouse Gallery, San Antonio, TX
- 2004 Wine, Women & Roses, Wendt Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
- 2004 Holiday Invitational, Bennett Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA
- 2005 Emerging Artists Show, Scottsdale, AZ
- 2005 Interiors & Exteriors, Group Show, Bennett Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA
- 2006 Solo Show, Wendt Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA
- 2006 U.S. Artists Show, Philadelpia, PA
- 2006 Focus on the Figure, Group Show, Bennett Street Gallery, Atlanta, GA
- 2007 Solo Show, Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX
- 2008 American Art Invitational, Group Show, Saks Galleries, Denver, CO
- 2008 Group Show, Jack Meier Gallery, Houston, TX