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Meet Karen Towey!

When Karen was a child there were only ten colors in her crayon box.  She used nine of them to express herself and she ate one of them. Thank goodness her diet has changed since then. 

Today Karen’s world and art have many more colors and she still uses them as her expressive language.  These radiant colors not only boldly appear in her paintings, but they influence most of her life choices. 


Karen grew up in the shadow of Mt. Rainier, her early language shaped by the morning mist, long blue-grey shadows in the forest, and the brilliant sun reflected off of the mountain glaciers. As a child playing along the river’s edge, she learned to discern the many shades of green that Washington is famous for. 

Karen also grew up speaking in the palette of the Salish Sea. Her work now dives deep into the intricacies of water, each color, like a word or a unique interpretation of life at that moment. And she is versed in the plants and animals that inhabit these landscapes. These are the colors she speaks in her stories. 

Karen has found balance in life. She spends her days teaching art to high school students, and in doing so, and is constantly amazed by the imagination and insights of how her students speak color. When she is not teaching, Karen finds herself hiking in the Cascade Mountains and spending days at her beach house on Puget Sound, always finding inspiration around her. And Karen has found another language to learn and share. It is the language of laughter, and Karen hopes that language will shout from her canvases and make you smile. 

Karen is a signature member of the Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists, Seattle Co-Arts, the National Oil and Acrylic Painter's Society of America, and the Washington Art Education Association.

Karen's work can be found on her website, Puget Sound Group of Northwest Artists Savor Gallery (online), Beverly Clevenger Taylor Gallery, and at many art shows and exhibitions.

Karen teaches adult and teen art classes at Red Sky Gallery in Shoreline, Washington.  just north of Seattle.  (.

Some of the art shows and venues that Karen has shown art in are:  

  • The Seattle Art Museum Seattle, Washington
  • Maryhill Art Museum Goldendale, Washington
  • Viral Collaboration Bridgeport Art Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • The Schack Art Center Everett, Washington
  • The White House Garden United States Office of Arts and Culture, Washington D.C.
  • Red Sky Gallery, Shoreline, Washington
  • Gallery North Edmonds, Washington
  • Art Gallery of Sno Valley North Bend, Washington
  • Beverly Clevenger Taylor Gallery Morton, Washington
  • The Great Annual Art Exhibit PSG Seattle, Washington


If you think of color as a language, Karen grew up surrounded by this language. As a child growing up in the long blue-green shadows of the forests near Mt. Rainier, and as an adult living part-time with the reflective light and atmospheric mood of the Salish Sea, this language is infused in Karen’s artwork.


Karen uses layers of paint, both opaque and translucent, to achieve the depth and radiant feel of light in her paintings. She paints in both oil and acrylic, in her studio and in plein air..

Karen has a concern for our dear earth and has been trying to take plastic out of the environment. She has been using recycled plastic bags, packing bags and other plastics to paint on.  You can find these textured artworks under Recycled Plastic.

Career Highlights

As a high school art teacher, one of Karen’s passions is seeing her students stretch and grow as artists. A couple of years ago Karen’s students’ art was chosen to hang in the White House garden, and Karen and her students were invited to a ceremony with the president. This celebration of her students‘ creativity was definite a career highlight for Karen.

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