Member Showcase - Karen Richardson

Submitted by Roxanne Carter

Karen Richardson


Karen Richardson creates her watercolours in the art studio located in the lower level of her home in Lindsay. She has participated in over 100 solo and juried art shows and her works have been acquired by collectors in over 19 countries.

Karen grew up near Algonquin Park and is drawn to rock filled scenery.  Over 400 of her 700 paintings include stone in some form. In the Shamanic tradition, rocks are where the souls of our ancestors reside. Karen’s favourite rocks are smooth pebbles particularly those with stripes in them.

Karen credits her excellent high school arts and science programs in laying the foundation for her eventual pursuit of art as a career and becoming an instructor.  She began teaching watercolour workshops at the Kawartha Art Gallery in 2006, and in 2013 published the book Watercolour Toolbox: Essentials for painting success.

In the video about the creation of Karen’s painting “A Foot in Cold Water” she talks about how she worked on one section of the painting at a time. She uses this technique when working on very detailed paintings. Karen plans out each of her paintings deciding on a focal point, the use of light, and what story the painting is going to tell. She blocks off 5 afternoons a week to devote to her artwork. Karen needs to be focused because she also does all her own marketing, accounting, social media and all other aspects of running an art business.

Karen’s travels with her husband are a huge inspiration for her creativity.  They camp, kayak, snowmobile, hike and motorcycle throughout North America and her photographs are often a catalyst for new pieces. Her travels to Lake Superior in the spring, summer, and fall have been her most recent inspirations.  She divides her time between 6 months devoted to painting, 2 months for teaching, and the rest of their time travelling.

Karen feels that the Arts are generally underrated and people are just beginning to recognize the importance they have in enhancing the quality of life for the residents of a community- they are a tremendous tourism draw. Studio tours, art shows, and other arts events also attract visitors. This results in a spillover effect that benefits local businesses, restaurants, and hotels.  Karen donated her watercolour “A Dahlia Down” for the KLAC live auction at the 4th Annual Community Celebration & AGM Live Auction because she feels the Kawartha Lakes Art Council has a very important role in promoting Arts and Culture in our own Kawartha Lakes.