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The Happy Painter


"No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity."
(Julia Cameron-The Artist's Way)


I cannot remember a time when I didn’t paint or draw. In addition to studying fine art at the University of Tulsa, I have worked with a number of well-known national and international artists: Herman Raymond, Jerry Yarnell, Zoltan Szabo, Judi Wagner, Diane Maxey, Tom Owen, Alvaro Castegnet, Frank Francese, Frank Webb, Skip Lawrence, John Salminen, and Ron Ranson. I enjoy painting in watercolor, acrylic and oil, and I specialize in landscapes, street scenes, and interiors of places where I have lived and traveled, such as COLORADO, South America, Mexico, and Europe. I am a signature member of the Pikes Peak Watercolor Society and the Western Colorado Watercolor Society.  My work is exhibited all over the U.S. and abroad in shows, private collections and competitions.


Education and Advanced Art Instruction

  • Bachelor’s degree in literature

    • University of Tulsa

  • Master’s degree in literature

    • University of Central OK

  • PhD in literature

    • University of Denver, CO


Artist’s Philosophy

“Dreams come true: without that possibility nature would not incite us to have them.”  John Updike

I am so lucky to be living my dream, making art everyday and meeting wonderful people who share my passion for life, love, and nature.


Professional Organization Memberships

  • Pikes Peak Watercolor Society

    • Signature Member

  • Western Colorado Watercolor Society

    • Signature Member

Mess to Masterpiece: Watercolor Painting Workshop/Coaching Materials List

: *Keep in mind that you should use the best watercolors you can afford. The quality of the watercolors and the quality of the paper are the two keys. I recommend Daniel Smith watercolors and Fabriano 140 weight or more paper.


Watercolors in tubes (best brands are Daniel Smith, Winsor Newton, and whatever your favorites are): A warm and cool of each of the primary colors plus fun colors or other you might like to try. Basic list: Cobalt blue, Ultramarine blue, Payne’s gray, Indian Yellow or Hansa Yellow, Cadmium red or Quinacridone red, Alizarin Crimson, Burnt Siena or Quinacridone Burnt Sienna...Suggested to try: Indanthrone Blue (Daniel Smith), Permanent Orange, Purples, etc.


1 sheet (22 x 30) Fabriano Rough paper 140 lbs or Fabriano Cold Press 140 lb.

Assorted brushes from a small “rigger” to a 1 inch flat, palette or plate for watercolors, paper towels, tissues without lotion, pencil and eraser, 1 large and some smaller foam core boards for painting boards, 2 inch wide brown masking tape, pipettes, old toothbrush, ruler, spray bottle for water, container to rinse brushes in, collage papers if you like and some Mod Podge, palette knife (plastic or metal), reference photos, black fine-tipped Sharpie or ink pens, fun stuff like watercolor pencils, inks, stencils, pastels, etc., old credit card.



Alcohol Ink Painting Class with Karen – Some Guidance

*Since alcohol inks have become so popular, there are several different brands and the choices vary depending on where you buy them.  Meiningers (downtown on Weber), Hobby Lobby, and Michaels (as well as online sites like Jerry’s Artarama) carry different products.  I cannot tell that there is ONE product superior to another, but there are distinct differences among the brands, such as packaging, nozzle tips, color choices, etc.  Here are the brands:  Pinata (available online and at Meiningers in individual small nozzle bottles), Ranger (available online and at Michaels in 3 packs for $12), Brea Reece (can’t remember where I have bought them—maybe Hobby Lobby), and COPIC (which is a type of alcohol ink marker but the INK REFILL is what you want, and it’s at Meinngers, and also maybe online?).  They are all almost the same price...about $4 a tiny bottle (which lasts a long time).  When we paint in alcohol ink, we use very little of the inks and a lot of alcohol!   *Best to drink some of it too!




  • 16 oz Isopropyl Alcohol (any %, doesn’t matter)

  • Yupo Paper either a large sheet (available at Meiningers) or a pad of sheets bigger than 4 x 5...

  • Several small plastic nut cups or several small plastic palettes.  (Alcohol inks do not wash clean from palettes like watercolor does.  You want a cup for each color you use on a painting. 

  • Box tissues without lotion

  • Package of pipettes (like 6?)

  • Micron pen or fine-tipped Sharpie

  • Reference photos – I have about a thousand!

  • Liquid Frisket Optional: (to mask out areas you want to leave white)

  • Alcohol Inks-at least 12 colors of any of the brands above.  Just make sure you have the 3 primary colors and any colors that look fun. You do NOT need black, white, gold, brass, silver, etc.***

  • Package of “Artist’s Loft Super Value Brush Pack 25 pc” from Michael’s.  We use a variety of “throw-away brushes” not good watercolor brushes.  The alcohol inks are not good at coming clean as watercolor brushes do.  I throw away a lot of brushes.

  • Disposable plastic gloves

  • ***Here are some colors of alcohol inks that I like.  Of course you do not need all of these…

BREA REECE:  Slate, Sky, Cadmium Red, Olive Green

RANGER:  Denim blue, Stream or Mermaid blue, Purple Twilight, Indigo, Sunshine Yellow, Butterscotch, Lettuce, Oregano, Mushroom, Caramel...

PINATA:  Rain Forest Green, Havana Brown, Tangerine, Chili Pepper, Calabasa Orange, Magenta

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