Offutt was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by a creative family
who encouraged her to explore her artistic talent from an early
age. Her father is an artist and her mother is a designer and
owner of a needlepoint company. Throughout her formative years,
Karen excelled in art classes and participated in several art
exhibits. She studied at North Texas State University in search
of a more formal fine arts education. As a young adult she sought
a more serious outlet for her talent.
The turning point in her career came when she made the decision
to study abroad and committed herself to becoming a fine artist.
As so many artists before her had done, Karen left home to live
and paint in Paris, France for three years. While there she spent
a considerable amount of time in galleries and museums where
she was exposed to an abundance of art genres ranging from classical
to contemporary. Immersing herself completely in her craft, Karen
painted with local artists and also attended classes and the
Academie de Beaux Arts. Much of her work today is reflective
of the time she spent painting and living in Paris.
Now working from
her studio in Austin, Karen approaches her paintings with an
atmospheric sensitivity combining shape, tone line, and color.
The inspiration of her preferred subject matter comes from daily
life, where the awareness of her surroundings is embodied in
her work. This is most evident with the urban landscapes where
individuals interact in natural settings. Nothing is staged,
and the expressions are honest and without reservation. As
and artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me
to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything and
my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration.
There are different aspects to my painting, for example technical
skill, creative freedom and emotional truth. My goal is to create
work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves