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Karen Knutson.


Like most artists, I started painting traditional watercolors, wanting my paintings to look like my subject. Lately, all that has changed. I now try to make my paintings unique and it's unimportant whether the painting resembles the subject or not. It is my hope that you'll be drawn to my paintings by their colors, the good design, and the peaceful nature of my work.


I started my journey in watercolor in 1985, and have been painting almost every day since that time. I truly love being an artist and feel very blessed to actually get paid to do something that I love so much. My routine consists of teaching workshops, participating in art fairs in the summer months, and painting commission paintings and original paintings for the galleries in the winter months.


I attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and have taken many watercolor workshops from nationally known artists, such as John Salminen, Karlyn Holman, Mary Ann Beckwith, Gerald Brommer, Carole Barnes, Barbara Nechis, and Diane Faxon. I have taken countless more workshops, but the ones mentioned have had the greatest influence over the direction of my artwork. I will always be eternally grateful to my first watercolor instructor, Raghnild Berstol, whose positive comments and free spirited demonstrations headed me in the right direction and I've been addicted to watercolor ever since.


Originally from a ranch in Montana, I now reside in Minneapolis with my husband of 41 years. We have two children and 4 beautiful grandchildren.  We love to visit Lake Superior and the North Shore as much as possible. It's a favorite, inspirational spot to paint. I've painted countless images of that shoreline and Split Rock Lighthouse, too.


I paint watercolors because I love its free and wild qualities, forcing the artist to adjust to its many moods.  For the past few years, I’ve added collage and acrylic, which produces wonderful textures and color discoveries.  My paintings are sometimes totally abstract, and sometimes there is something recognizable in the painting.  I like my paintings to be different than “normal paintings” - anything that will make the viewer take a second look and be drawn into the painting!  I used to be attracted to paintings with unusual colors, but now I’m drawn to paintings with dynamic design.  First and foremost, I like to have fun while I paint, and I’m constantly trying out new things, so that I will grow as an artist.  I feel like the luckiest person alive to be able to do something that I love so much!


My paintings are featured in Splash 6, Watercolor, Fun and Free, and Searching for the Artist Within , Watercolor- The Spirit of Spontaneity, Watercolor without Boundaries, The Artistic Touch 4, Watercolor- Making your Mark, and the magazine, Watercolor Magic (Aug.’04).  I am a signature member of Transparent Watercolor Society of America,(formerly known as Midwest Watercolor Society), San Diego Watercolor Society, Red River Watercolor Society, the Montana Watercolor Society, and the Northern Plains Watercolor Society, the Minnesota Watercolor Society, NorthStar Watermedia Society, and Missouri Watercolor Society.   My artwork is now being featured on gift bags produced by Garven, Inc. They can be found in retails stores such as Target and Walmart. My artwork is also handled by numerous galleries.


If you have questions, or need more information, please email me at, or call me at


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