Karen Pickels was born in Houston, Texas, learning to draw at an early age and fortuitously given the chance to take lessons from resident artists at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Learning to render human beings, especially the face, at an early age fascinated her then and remains a passion today. As she matured as an artist, she was drawn to interpreting her subject matter with an almost whimsical touch, selecting her color palettes for their emotional impact.
In 1970, Karen moved with her family to Austin, Texas and continued learning more about various media – oils, acrylic, screen-printing, and clay. For a time, she was drawn to producing murals. Karen began college as a fashion design major at the University of Texas, but soon changed to Business not so much by desire but for its more practical economic potential.
After college, Karen moved back to the Houston area where married life, a lovely child, and various career pursuits in the information technology world absorbed her focus and time. She continued to work in various media over the years but it was as she was nearing retirement that Karen started increasing here painting activity with soft pastels, acrylics and oil, focusing primarily on soft pastel.
Teaching others how to build a composition has become a passion for Karen. She works with her students to ensure that they know the fundamentals of creating a composition – composing the image to be used as a reference, incorporating thumbnails into the composition preparation process, accurately determining values, principles of color mixing and color harmony, and painting techniques useful with each media type.
Shows and Awards for Karen Pickels 2021 Central Texas Pastel Member Show – First Place for The Sisters 2020 Central Texas Pastel Member Show – First Place for Antiquing in Georgetown (Judged by Liz Haywood-Sullivan) 2018 Pastel Society of Southeast Texas Member Show – Award for Excellence – “Building” Category for Janet’s Homestead