Karen Willis

Karen born and bred in the Shetland Isles, started painting as far back as she can remember. At school she continued to paint and draw, winning the award for outstanding achievement in art from her secondary school. She left the Shetlands to study art in Hereford and Derby, completing a degree in Photographic studies under John Blakemore. However her love was always to paint.

Her work is characterised by bright, vibrant colours which feature in her seascapes and landscapes, but she loves variety. In quieter moments, she loves to paint in muted colours. Karen works in a wide variety of media – oils, acrylics, pastels, and watercolours – all with equal enthusiasm.


Over the past few years Karen has had several solo exhibitions and joint shows throughout the UK.


In 2008, Karen met Prince Charles on his visit to Morpeth and presented him with a painting, which is currently hung in Clarence Place in the Royal Collection. In 2009 she was featured on the television programme Songs of Praise painting on the beach at Druridge Bay, and then afterwards in an exhibition at her house.

In April 2014, Karen was commissioned by Channel 4’s “Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose” to paint presenter Steve Jones’s dog, Dexter, and the painting can be seen on the wall of the TV set. Karen has enjoyed this little divergence as a welcome change to vivid land and seascapes. She now also intends to paint pet portraits on a commission basis.


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