About

Who is Karen Kersten?

Karen was born and raised in the Minneapolis area. Her lifelong love of drawing and painting led her to study at the Minnesota River School of Fine Art in Burnsville and the Hurinenko/Paquet Studio in St. Paul.  She has also attended numerous workshops presented by nationally acclaimed artists. After her formal art education Karen taught drawing, still life and portraiture at MRSFA and community centers and participated in group and one woman gallery shows.  She and her husband relocated to the beautiful northern Minnesota lake country, but to be nearer family they resettled on a small ranch in central Minnesota where Karen can see her horses from her studio window.


As a child Karen’s passion for horses motivated her to spend many hours drawing them. She feels she has come full circle, now creating equine art for her clients and herself, as well enjoying the challenge of expressive portraiture, the symbolism and design of still life and the pleasure of nature in landscapes.  She believes artistic ability is a God-given gift which through a desire to learn and see beauty, can be shared with others.  


“What things in your life inspire special memories and feelings?   What are the sights sounds and smells that you associate with them?  This is the essence of my creative process—to capture both the sensual and the visual representation in the paint medium.


To capture favored things on canvas requires thoughtful consideration of light, mood and atmosphere.  It is not just the subject I’m painting—it’s the way I feel when I think about it.  It’s the simple blessings of life that enhance and heighten the appreciation of our God-given senses:  the play of light on color, the scent of a fresh flower.  That is why my art puts subjects in a setting that is emotional to view.


To meet my challenge I employ a 16th century Flemish method mixed with a bit of impressionism.  While creating the pieces I concentrate fully on the five senses and how they might best be experienced in the virtual world of two dimensions.  I hope my images will evoke for you a particular ambience, a little nostalgia, subtle sensitivity or even a trace of whimsy.  With the element of symbolism ever-present, my wish is that you are inspired to explore your senses and interpret each work for yourself.” 

Zach and Anna

Featured Piece

The creative process for portraiture is the most unique and complicated but one I enjoy whole-heartedly.
Zach and Anna's mom commissioned this piece and I worked with her to capture the personality and likeness of her children through a comprehensive photo shoot and interview method. I have developed this method in order to get a sense of the subjects through their mom's eyes which serves as a great insight into interpretting their persona onto canvas!  Mom also assisted in selecting the final photo to ensure the right pose and expressions were captured!

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