Karen is an artist and retired schoolteacher who lives in Hammond, Louisiana. Originally from San Francisco, she has degrees from UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan and an arts education teaching certification from Southeastern Louisiana University. Before retiring, Karen taught art from a multi-disciplinary perspective in local public schools.
“The Adventures of Shiko and Walter stories grew from my fascination with my old downtown backyard. Over the years, I have chronicled its abundant, ever-changing natural environment through journaling, poetry, drawings, painting, and photography.
After retiring, I began writing and illustrating little stories about Walter, a decaying water oak in a corner of my backyard, and his surroundings. I thought Walter needed a friend, one who has been with him through his growth, death and continuing decay, so I created Shiko, a tree sprite.”
Art: I have been painting and drawing since I was little. After years of making mixed media paintings and constructions, I have turned my attention to creating story-telling illustrations using digital art techniques I learned while teaching.
Nature: I have always loved being in nature. I have experienced the natural splendors of the western United States and those of other countries. Now, I enjoy exploring and tending to the natural delights found in my own backyard.
Cats: Over the years, I have cared for an array of felines who have showed up on my doorstep. Today I care for six of them; however, tomorrow that number could change!
Reading: Thanks to my mother, I have always been an avid reader. As I child, I loved the beautifully illustrated picture books that inspired me to draw and write my own little stories. Now I enjoy reading mysteries and contemporary fiction and belong to a local book club.
Singing: I discovered the joy of singing in high school where I participated in the school choir and musical productions. Since then, I have enjoyed singing with community choirs and currently sing with one at a local university.
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