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                                 Karen's Gallery

Karen has made color copies of many of her paintings plus has a selection of cards of some of them, too.  Let us know if you're interested in learning more about any of these items.

               Karen at work in her former studio                  Karen signs her prints of "Life is Such a Gift"


                         Mary Ann's Window    9x12 inches    Watercolor    Private Collection

The seeds for "Mary Ann's Window" arrived with a collection of photographs from one of Karen's number one fans.  More objects visible from Mary Ann's backyard accompanied this collection, but Karen decided she could make a better composition with a more limited number.  Somehow Karen even made the stained glass hanging look like it was made of glass.


                       Bunny II   6x6 inches   Acrylic   Contribution to Petersburg Arts Council

A request for a 6x6 inch painting to donate for a Petersburg art Council fundraiser at about the same time as Karen sold her watercolor painting Denver Bunny provided the catalyst for this piece.  Add to that my love of the original painting and off Karen went, only this time in acrylic.  Still, both paintings are long gone and we no longer have an original rabbit hanging in our living room.  Sigh!  Some day I hope....


                        Winter Cheer    7 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches    Watercolor    Private Collection

Cardinals are a friend's favorite bird.  She's a good friend, so the request, "would you." could not go unheeded.  It was great fun watching Karen's progress as this pair of cardinals materialized in her studio.  An added bonus was seeing it finally matted.


                                                               Winter Cheer matted


             Why Snowmen Don't Have Noses   16 x 20 inches   Acrylic on Gessoboard   Sold

We hope no one from the Alaska State Troopers sees this painting because it includes elements of illegal activity.  In Alaska there is up to a $10,000 fine and a year in jail for feeding wildlife -- similar to what you might get for outrageous poaching of wildlife.  Yet, here's the evidence -- deer in our yard eating the noses right off a family of snowpeople.  Karen also took some liberties with this one.  She moved our house across Wrangell Avenue and turned it around.  I hope she wasn't predicting a combination earthquake and landslide in this whimsical portrayal of the view from her studio window.


     It's Not Who-o-o You Are, but Whose You Are   9 x 12 inches    Watercolor   Private Collection

After seeing Karen's "A Note of Whimsey," painted for a former Petersburg Lutheran Church Pastor (see further down on this page) another of our former Pastors and his wife declared they want one, too.  Little statements like that can have a major impact on Karen's activities and soon her whimsical side was flowing profusely onto yet another sheet of watercolor paper.


                            Cousin David's Cat    9 x 12 inches   Acrylic   Private Collection

I'm allergic to cats so Karen has to satisfy her love of this species through her art.  Knowing her cousin, David Groth, would like a painting of his beloved Jerry was all it took to set Karen working on this cat portrait.


                      Now that Was a Good Cup of Coffee   4 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches   Watercolor

Rifling through a pile of her previously unfinished art, Karen spotted this chicken.  "Should I finish it?"  "Yes," I responded and before long another whimsical hen entered the world of art.


                            Chickadee Chicks   9 x 12 inches  Watercolor   Private Collection

Bubbling over with excitement during her surprise 65th birthday party, Karen offered to paint something for everyone at the party -- their choice -- as a way to share her joy.  Now, two years later Karen finally fulfilled her promise. With the completion of Chickadee Chicks and Hunkered Down (below) Karen finally made good on her promise.  In the end, the results of that promise lead to some wonderful works of art.


                                 Hunkered Down   9 x 12 inches   Acrylic   Private Collection


                                   Courtship     12 X 24 inches     Acrylic on Canvas     Sold

Karen has been having fun with ravens and crows.  Sometimes she'll head up to Petersburg's landfill just to photograph ravens.  On other days she'll return from a walk with more images of these intelligent corvids to add to her growing "pile" of digital reference photos.  Lately she has even been drawing on them for new paintings -- the latest titled "Courtship."  While "everybody" on the branch looks like they may have posed
all together for Karen, this piece is actually based on a collection of photos taken on different days.  Ah, the advantage of paintings over photographs.


                                  Siskins Settling In     9 X 12 inches     Watercolor     $200

Periodically we see irruptions of Pine Siskins in southeast Alaska and during such events these tiny birds (smaller than sparrows) are quick to find Karen's array of offerings of sunflower seeds.  Overhanging our deck and feeders is a large western hemlock tree which provides a fine launching pad for the siskins -- and a place for Karen to photograph these tame birds from her studio window.  Here Karen has taken advantage of her photos for a watercolor painting subject.


                   Fledglings in the Blueberry Patch    9 X 12 inches   Acrylic on Canvas   Sold

On half decent days, and anything better, Karen takes her camera on her walks -- just in case.  And case often happens with discoveries of species of birds such as American robins.  In spring and early summer tame newly fledged robins are particularly easy "prey" for Karen.  "Fledglings in the Blueberry Patch" is based on several of her photos set in any one of numerous blueberry patches that permeate our Alaskan rainforest home.


                         A Note of Whimsey    7 X 10 1/4 inches    Watercolor    Pvt. Collection

"A Note of Whimsey" originated when Karen showed visiting friends the score sheet for our usual evening game of Upwords -- kind of a vertical scrabble.  The game is our after-dinner routine (which Karen usually wins) but we don't write our names at the top of the columns.  Instead, Karen makes the most delightful drawings of whimsical critters.  I've long suggested she paint some of them, but it took a promise to paint one for our guests to begin what I hope is a new series.


                          Mine. All Mine    12 X 16 inches    Acrylic on Canvas   $300 Unframed

                                           Available at
Firelight Gallery in Petersburg, Alaska

Karen loves all things that waddle.  For that matter she loves all things with feathers or fur or are even warm blooded -- even most things cold blooded.  And so it was that she made peace with a hissing goose at an Iowa farmers market.  She wanted the truce because she envisioned herself recording its image on canvas one day.  That day has arrived.  The pumpkins came from a pile on a cart at that market.  After all the farmers work to gather in the crop, Karen went and put them back out in the field.


          And One Last Thing     Diptych (Two 10 X 10 inch paintings) on Canvas     Acrylic     NFS 

Karen has entered a raven phase lately.  These two set her off painting six more in five different images in a fundraiser for Petersburg nonprofit organization, WAVE (Working Against Violence for Everyone).  See below for those paintings which made such a hit.


                                Raven Montage       22 X 30 inches       Acrylic       Sold

Raven Montage is a group of five paintings, all of which sold in the above mentioned fundraiser.  The idea was to raise money for WAVE by selling Art by the Inch.  Karen divided her space into discrete paintings which could easily be cut up and sold for $1.00 per square inch without sacrificing any of the artwork.  Karen's effort was a big hit at the affair.

Karen's Birthday project (see next section) accomplished exactly what we were all hoping it would do.  It set her smoldering passion for painting on fire.  Here are some post project images.


                            The Face of Baird   14 X 21 inches   Watercolor   Not for sale

Years ago Karen painted a version of this subject for an audio conference class she was taking.  Being her frugal self, she painted it on really cheap drawing paper.  In fact the original took two sheets of that paper.  Don always loved the painting despite it's wrinkling and the yellowing of the paper over the years.  When Karen asked for suggestions about what to paint, a new version of Baird Glacier often topped the list.  Now, at last, here it is.


 Milling Around   12 1/2 X 15 1/2 in.   WC   $175          The Hermit    4 X 6 inches   Watercolor   Sold

Milling Around:  When Karen saw
Barry Bracken's photo of a flock of Barrow's Goldeneyes feeding in front of his house, Karen knew she wanted to paint it.  So, she did.

The Hermit:  we have an Elderberry bush outside outside our kitchen window.  If we wanted to pick the berries, we'd have to race the birds -- crows, Steller's jays, varied thrushes and, one day, this hermit thrush.  Needless to saw, we like the painting better than any bowl of Elderberries.


                      I Heard You the First Time, Dear  11 X 13 3/4 inches  Watercolor  $250

Karen sure had fun with this one.  Her model was a single raven that posed for her on a rock during a morning walk.  Can you tell both subjects are the same raven?  Then, she kept showing it to friends as the painting progressed -- each showing evoking a laugh from Karen as well as the viewers.  Naturally Don thinks the raven on the right represents one of us, the one on the left...you decide.


                                     Pretty Picky     6 X 9 inches    Watercolor     Sold

Here we see the whimsical side of Karen -- a side I see a lot of every time she draws the headings on our evening games of Upwords.  There's a lot of this in Karen.


     Happy Faces    10 1/2 X 13 in.    WC      Sold              Basket Boquet   7 1/4 X 10 3/4 in.   WC    Sold

Flowers are always a favorite attraction for Karen.  All you need do is look at her extensive photo library to determine that.  Apparently others agree since these two painting were both sold during her 1st Friday show at
Wild Celery here in Petersburg.


                                Patiently Waiting   7 1/2 X 10 5/8 in.  WC Framed    $260
                                     Available at
Firelight Gallery in Petersburg, Alaska

One of Karen's favorite places in our coastal rainforest is Anan Creek south of Wrangell.  There large numbers of black and brown bears congregate to feed on the large salmon runs that must navigate a rugged falls while dodging the bears.  It's a feast for the bears as well as Bald Eagles and gulls which pick up the leftovers.  There's also constant interaction between the bears with black bear cubs often being sent up a tree for their safety.  Filled with salmon, they often fall asleep waiting for the all clear signal.


                                 A Mother's Work is Never Done   9 X 12 inches   Sold

We attended a "White Elephant" party after Christmas.  Karen fell in love with a sculpture of -- well, look at the painting.  She didn't end up with it, but knowing how much Karen liked it, a friend made a trade as we walked out the door.  What was Karen to do but paint it to show her appreciation.  Of course Karen had to add her "flying feather" twist to the subject.


                                   Denver Bunny    9 X 12 inches    Watercolor     Sold

While changing planes in the Denver airport last fall, Karen stopped short at the sight of a rabbit "hanging out" by the terminal.  Tight connection or not, she just had to stop and snap a few photos of her docile friend before resuming her dash to her connecting flight -- to paint of course.  Naturally, Don's reaction differed somewhat:  How did it get past the TSA?


                                            Connie's Squirrel    9 X 12 inches   Sold

Karen seems to bond with every rodent, particularly squirrels, she encounters.  Thus, when she visits her cousin Connie Mutel in Solon, Iowa, Karen takes lots of photos of squirrels.  In fact, between Iowa squirrels and Wisconsin squirrels, Karen may have the world's largest collection of photos of furry critters eating whatever she provides.  This painting is called Connie's Squirrel, but the question remains, which one of Connie's squirrels?

                          Karen's Birthday Project

As suggested above, we had a birthday party for Karen in August,2011.  Eighteen friends came laden with food, gifts and good wishes when Karen expected two people to just stop by to say hello.  SURPRISE!   Karen almost floated in air with her excitement.   Before they left, she went around the room asking each person what they would like her to paint for them.  It took awhile for ideas to gel, but just before Christmas, she took off on her project.  What a thrill it was to see these watercolor images flowing off her brushes.  See if you don't agree.


                                      BC     8 X 11 inches    Watercolor     Not for Sale

BC is an old cat, a secretive old cat.  He lives in the Riemer's garage and often the only sign of him is his daily doo -- under the car.  Reportedly, he sleeps most of the day in the furnace room and also eats.  What more could you want from a cat?  His name, BC, refers to his position in the peck order back when the Riemer's had two cats -- Bottom Cat.


                                  Karen's Passions   9 X 10 inches    Private Collection

Anyone who knows Karen knows she collect rocks.  And she collects feathers.  She just can't get enough of these creations of God.  Thus, this painting ranks among her favorites in the project.


                             Tranquility      6 X 9 inches     Watercolor      Pvt. Collection

This piece is another of her favorites, one which sent her scurrying to the internet in search of more art supplies with which to create more feathers.  "Keep buying those paints" is all I can say.

            Patient Courtship  Pvt. Colletion                                  Summer Porch  Pvt. Collection

Pete wanted pigeons on a power line and ended up with Karen adding a blizzard.  Carol opted for one of her favorite places to relax among her favorite possessions.  They certainly make a fun contrast.


      Tuckered Xena   Watercolor   Pvt. Collection                   Jane   Watercolor   Pvt. Collection

How Xena and Jane could ever see with all the hair over their eyes is beyond comprehension.  Thankfully for the pups, Bev and Grant and Lila believe in scissors.  Unfortunately Jane is no longer with us.  When the Trasks acquired her as a used dog, Jane was named Sarah.  One problem.  Their daughter is named Sarah.  After careful deliberation, it seemed less confusing to change the pups name instead of their daughter's.  For fun, Karen added the quilt Sarah created one summer to remind us of Jane's "maiden name."


                                   The Parsonage  7 3/4 X 10 3/4 inches  Pvt. Collection

Karen struggled with this one.  Not the parsonage, but whether to splatter snow flakes on top of her creation -- a request from our former Pastor, Al.  She canvassed many friends.  Which way to go?  One would said "yes," the next "no."  In the end, she held her breath and splattered.  Anyone viewing the original of this piece would applaud her courage.


       Hospitality  7 3/4 X 10 3/4  Pvt Collection                Beached  7 3/4 X 10 3/4  Pvt Collection

Hospitality depicts the dark side of Karen -- sneaking into people's houses to photograph their tea pots.  A warning to all.  Beached was a complicated subject -- a request for a beach scene with specific items.  This one challenged Karen, but in the end challenges provide our greatest growing edges.


                                     Princess Hungry   11 X 15 inches   Pvt. Collection

We don't have a cat.  We're big dog people and our dog, Niko, likes nothing better than treeing cats..  Snoopy said "cats are the crabgrass in the lawn of life."  So why is this one of our favorites in this collection?  I say paint more cats.  Guess they'll hold still when Niko relocates them into the nearest tree.


        Gretel   9 X 12 inches   Pvt. Collection                 Benson   9 X 12 inches   Pvt. collection

This pair of paintings could be called Mutt and Jeff.  Gretel is the size of a small pony.  Benson isn't much bigger than a beach ball.  Both have the energy of the Ever Ready Bunny.


                                           Henry    4 1/2 X  7 inches   Pvt. Collection

Alas, Henry has departed this earth.  Who would have thought that dogs get diabetes and it can have dire consequences.  Thus this painting immortalizes a very well loved dog that I often thought looked more like a cuddly Q-tip.


                                    Underwater Tango   5 X 7 inches   Pvt. Collection

This is a twofer.  Brian wanted an octopus, Marjorie a jellyfish.  So the ever romantic Karen came up with an image of these two entwined.

OK, this isn't 19, but it's a wonderful start.  As you can see, many of our friends wanted a painting of their pet -- excellent choices as you can see.  Karen's project continues. 


                               Life is Such a Gift       Watercolor     10 X 13 inches      Sold

Our plein air group, Fresh Air, planned a show at Wild Celery.  Karen rose to the occasion.  Sitting across the street from the Quilt Shop, she drew lots of attention and, Karen fans.  One fan, a lovely little girl was drawn to Karen like a bear to honey.  Finally, Karen decided she should be part of the painting.  No artist could hope for a model who held so still.  You can see her in the right hand corner of this piece.  Ultimately this painting took on a life of it's own and ended up being the signature piece at the Petersburg Quilt Fest held later that summer.


Tranquility  Created for the WAVE sponsored show, Rise Up.  Watercolor  11 X 14 inches  $250 matted

Living with water and mountains surrounding our island home with it’s bounty of fish and wildlife never ceases to delight me:  

Whether it be shorebirds flashing like northern lights over an ocean swell,

    whales launching themselves into a cloud of mist,  

            or rain droplets edging a cluster of lupine,

I bow my head with a prayer of thanksgiving as I RISE UP at the dawn of each day.


                               Nesting Instinct      Watercolor      10 X 13 inches       Sold

  A Slough of Alders  Watercolor  8 1/2 X 12 inches           Driftwood Beach  Watercolor  6 X 8 inches


                                             Gentle Shoreline      Watercolor   6 X 9 inches

 My Valentine    Watercolor    7 X 12 inches    NFS                  Turtle Card  Watercolor  NFS

    A Pocketful of Patterns   WC Card  4 X 6 in.             Winter Retreat WC Card  4 X 6 inches


                            Curiosity      Watercolor     Approximately 9 X 12 inches    $275

Karen painted "Life is Such a Gift" and "Curiosity" for the annual Fresh Air show at Petersburg's Wild Celery Gallery.  "Life is Such a Gift" sold before the opening and she had prints made of the painting in response to popular request.  Please contact us if you are interested in obtaining one.   Curiosity is currently available at Wild Celery, one of Petersburg's local art galleries.


                                           Crab Girl            Watercolor             Sold


                              Bessie at the Helm     Watercolor     9 X 13 inches      NFS

Karen painted "Crab Girl" and "Bessie at the Helm" for the 2009 Tongass Rainforest Festival Art Show.  What fun she had with these two paintings, particularly Crab Girl with it's whimsical crabs, starfish and other creatures that inhabit our local shores,



Approx. 11 X 15 in.

Private Collection



Approx. 10 X 12"

Private Collection

Casey at the Helm


Approx. 10 X 10 inches

Private Collection

Quest for a Nest


Approx. 5 X 7 inches

Private Collection

Forest Dweller

Watercolor    10 X 14 "

This painting was accepted for the 2006 Paint America competition that traveled through the US for several years.


Waiting for Mama

Oil  16 X 20 "


The Last Migrant  


11 X 14"




9 1/2 X 7 1/2

Wild Feathers


14 X 10 inches

Choosing Fabrics


Along the Dempster


9 X 12"



15 X 22"

Private collection

Varied Thrush


7 1/2 X 9 1/2"



11 X 14 inches


Bowl of Favorites     


10 X 14"

Raven's Roost Ridge


9 X 12 inches

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