Award-winning painter, Karen Foster-Wells, began painting outdoors on the California coast 50 years ago. As a professional artist, her career has spanned 38 years, balancing illustration to support her family with plein air painting to restore her soul, and the last 15 years, to help preserve the landscape she holds so dear. Born in Pasadena, California, she had her first major solo exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara in 1979. Since then, she has participated in hundreds of group shows for conservation, and illustrated for such diverse clients as General Motors, Pudenz-Schulte Medical Research, realtors in Lake Arrowhead and Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Fine art drawings in the book Santa Barbara RANCHOS, published by the Easton Gallery.
As a member of the Oak Group of Santa Barbara, Karen has enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow painters while benefitting The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Santa Cruz Island, The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), The Trust for Public Land and many others. She founded with Libby Tolley the San Luis Outdoor Painters Enterprise (SLOPE) to accomplish the same goals in San Luis Obispo County as the Oak Group does in Santa Barbara.
Karen's paintings reflect her love for horses, ranching and California's central coast landscape. She is a member of the California Art Club and three local art associations in her community.