About the artist

Karen Schaaf lives and works out of her home studio in New Bern, North Carolina.  

Born and raised in Maryland, she earned her Bachelors in Fine Arts from the University of Maryland in 1994.  Shortly after that, she met and married her husband Mike. After his retirement from the Air Force, they relocated to the Savannah, Georgia area in 1998.

Karen has spent her work career employed as an artist. For the first 20 years, she was employed as an exhibit designer for the Maryland-National Capital Parks & Planning Department. After relocation to Savannah, she worked briefly for FlightSafety International, then she and her partner formed their own company, Pixelphish Interactive, a courseware development company that creates corporate training, both for the web and classroom.  In 2006, Karen earned her Masters in Instructional Technologies from Virginia Tech.

In 2016, she submitted a painting to the Georgia Watercolor Society’s Juried Exhibition.  And her world changed when she got the call that she had won the Grand Prize. Two years and six exhibits later, Karen earned her signature status with GWS.  

Retirement (and a grandchild) brought about a move to New Bern, North Carolina in 2018, right in time for Hurricane Florence.  Six months later – after rebuilding her home and re-acquiring art supplies – Karen is back in her studio, happily painting every day.