After honing her craft in acrylic painting and taking her influences such as contemporary surrealism, Don Bluth, Jim Henson, Tim Burton, and Julie Taymor, Karen Watkins uses mostly nature and surreal imagery as vehicles to express triumphs and tribulations of the human spirit. Karen also uses narrative and symbolism to delve into the mysteries, beauty, and eeriness of life with whimsical and art nouveau elements. She also makes handmade dry felted soft sculptures usually of animals and woodland scenes out of roving and keeping in the style of her paintings.
Karen was born and grew up in central Indiana and came to Columbus, Ohio to study art at Columbus College of Art and Design to study illustration, design, and painting. She earned a Bachelor degree in illustration at CCAD in 2002. She now resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with her husband Carl and cats Cleo and Calvin.