Karen grew up in Kent and studied textile design at Middlesex Polytechnic. She had a successful career in textile design and then in 2007 made the move into full-time painting. She moved to Tenterden and her new surroundings; the landscape of the Weald of Kent and Sussex offered her inspiration for her new direction. The garden at Great Dixter and her own garden too provide an ever-changing stimuli for her to capture the beauty of a floral show of cultivated and wild flowers.
Creating a sense of space, borrowing the vistas beyond the garden to meld with the blooms in the foreground is an essential strand to her work. In large canvases of swaying stems and sun-baked fields, fluid sweeping strokes describe the spires of foxgloves and verbena as they fuse with wildflowers and calm open spaces. In her smaller works Karen's paintings evoke the colours of a season or the essence of a garden in a still life compostion.