Finding the Thread continues my adventure into the use of paint to explore my response to the world around me. I am an incurable Pollyanna…..in the midst of turmoil, conflict and disaster, my mind still sees the beauty of our world and the strength of the human spirit. This optimism permeates my work. My entire purpose in painting is to give it a voice.”- Scharer, 2016


Karen Scharer - Biography

"My art reflects my faith in imagination and intuition, and my passion for exploring and communicating the profound beauty of our world and the human experience. Through painting, my ideas and visions become tangible, providing a language to encourage, share, inspire, and uplift. Each painting evolves as if it were a conversation between old friends… sometimes lighthearted and joyful, sometimes contentious or troubling. As a result, every painting is as individual as the moment in which it was created. 

Over the past couple of years, I have become captivated by the concept of incorporating the colors and forms of nature more directly into my abstract studio work. I have begun exploring the natural environment around me through plein air painting, and see that as an exciting and unlimited source of new inspiration for my work. 

Although I was born to artist parents and showed some early interest in drawing and painting, I did not give in to the urge to paint seriously until the mid-1980s. I graduated from the University of Montana (after five years, four majors and three schools!) with a degree in forestry, a reflection of the love of the outdoors that I learned from my father at an early age. In 1976, a job with the Forest Service took me from Montana to Boise, Idaho where, daunted by the prospects of having to move to Washington D.C. for a promotion, I eventually went to work for IBM, finding good success as a sales rep.

In 1985, I married my husband Al, and moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was there that I began to paint, and with tremendous teaching and support from some remarkable artists I soon began showing and selling my work. In 1991, Al and I moved to Colorado. Finally, in 1997, after 17 very educational years, I left IBM to devote my time to my art. Today, I live and work outside Estes Park, Colorado (just a short drive from Rocky Mountain National Park), where my studio is surrounded by thousands of acres of National Forest. From my windows I can see amazing sunrises and watch beavers and ducks going about their day on the lake below. It's a good life, and I am truly grateful to be living it this way. "- Scharer, 2014