For Karen Larson Turner, becoming an artist was the natural continuation of her favorite childhood pastime.  Her earliest memories include hours spent on the floor with a sketchbook, producing countless drawings from her imagination.  Later, she discovered the joy of drawing and painting from life.


A summer resident of Martha’s Vineyard, the island’s historic Victorian architecture inspired Karen’s first plein-air paintings, and by the age of fourteen she was taking commissions for house portraits.  She learned to work on tourist-packed sidewalks, where knowing how to talk and paint at the same time became necessary; she also learned how to paint with one hand and brace the easel with the other on particularly windy days, and how to capture shadows quickly before the light changed.


Turner graduated from Calvin College in 1991 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.  In 1992, her love for the craftsmanship of traditional oil painting inspired her to further study at the School of Representational Art in Chicago, Illinois.  Modeled after the 19th century Atelier system, SORA provides mentorship of three master painters for students embarking upon rigorous study of classical technique.  Turner completed four years of study with the school, honing a mastery of anatomy, the figure, portraiture, and the still life. 


 After completing the program, Turner set to work as a full-time painter, exhibiting in a variety of galleries and accepting private commissions.  Karen’s favorite approach to painting is to express ideas through metaphor and allegory.  Still life work appeals to Karen’s love for detail through thin, painstaking layers of paint that reveal the reflective surface of silver or the ripeness of a peeled lemon.  In contrast, landscape work brings a freedom and spontaneity to her brush as she seeks to capture the effects of light and shadow in thick painterly strokes.


 “While in Charleston, I have rediscovered the joys of these subjects in my oils, and I have remembered the reasons I first began to paint.  There are countless images before us wherever we go:  the curve of a road, the fleeting shadows on a porch, a formation of clouds.  Those scenes which cause us to stop and stare, if only for a moment, those things that inspire awe or contemplation…grand or humble…these are worthy to be remembered.”



On The Sanctuary Resort Murals:


“In November of 2003 I received the most challenging commission of my life, to paint four murals, each measuring 22x28 feet, for The Sanctuary Resort on Kiawah Island, SC.  They were painted in my small studio, since the hotel was under construction.  My husband and I designed two walls that had a scrolling wall system to accommodate the long rolls of canvas. All four murals are marsh scenes from Kiawah, each was done in small scale first and then translated onto the larger canvas. The strips of canvas were then installed like wallpaper using the double cut method, after which I got on a lift and did the finishing touches.  From the first stages of planning until the final installation, the   project continued from early November until April 1st, 2004."

Cloud Fire
Evening's Jewels
Storm Front Over Sullivans
Cypress Swamp Bonfire
Gliding Over
SoldAfter Rain
SoldIsland Sunrise
SoldReaching Shadows
SoldSummer Heat
SoldDrifting West
SoldLight Descending
SoldSilent and Still
SoldTwilight Warmth
SoldBlue Ridge Morning
SoldGreener Pastures
SoldSeaside Stroll
SoldMarsh Creek Glow
SoldPast the Storm
SoldRed, White, and Blue
SoldMisty Moonrise
SoldSublime at Sunset
SoldSurf Seekers
SoldKaren Larson Turner, In Summer Shadow
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Surrounded
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Towards the Sea
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Ocean Course Dawn
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Piping Plover Study
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Through Morning Mist
SoldEvening Brilliance
SoldPaddle at Dawn
SoldAbove the Waves
SoldArrival of Spring
SoldFirst One to the Beach
SoldLight of Late Afternoon
SoldUnder Cover
SoldCreekside Moonrise, II
SoldAscending Light
SoldBright Horizon
SoldCatching Moonlight
SoldShoreline Stroll at Dusk
SoldMoonrise Dunes
SoldDown the Alley
SoldThe Way Through
SoldCumulus Rising
SoldAutumn Splendor
SoldBreaking Dawn
SoldChurch and Queen
SoldEvening's Hush
SoldForest Walk
SoldLast Light at Moonrise
SoldMarsh Sundown
SoldRiver Reflections
SoldRolling In, II
SoldCreekside Moonrise
SoldEdge of Day
SoldHorizon Glow
SoldMoonlit Dreams
SoldOaks Illuminated
SoldRays of Hope
SoldLight Through the Oaks
SoldSt. Michael & St. John
SoldBeach Day
SoldMoonlight Reverie
SoldIn Stillness
SoldSweet Tea
SoldThe Wish
SoldLong Look
SoldReaching Over
SoldSummer Sundown
SoldCypress Swamp, Magnolia Gardens
SoldFlower Moon
SoldHigh Tide Oaks
SoldHolding the Sun
SoldRosy Moonrise
SoldWatching Over
SoldEvening Grace
SoldIn His Element
SoldMorning Cumulus
SoldCrimson Glow
SoldRoad Through the Pines
SoldStudy for Moonlight Reverie
SoldMarsh Calm
SoldAfternoon Dunes
SoldAfternoon Moonrise
SoldKaren Larson Turner, Sunrise Stroll
SoldEvening Stroll
SoldIn Any Weather
SoldImmaculate Evening
SoldBlowing In
SoldEarth's Embrace
SoldTumbling to Shore
SoldQuiet Surroundings
SoldRising with the Dawn
SoldThe Sound and The Fury
SoldHoly City Spires