Miami, Florida  

About the Artist


Karen Claus always knew she loved fine arts and creative expression. With one grandfather a Flemish painter and craftsman and the other a musician, Karen grew up with an appreciation for fine and performing arts. Her parents met in Belgium through music and encouraged their daughters to learn to play an instrument. Karen played the violin in several orchestras during her school-age years. She also enjoyed her art and writing classes but was urged to enroll as an accounting major at Miami University of Ohio.

Karen decided to minor in psychology while sampling the college's art course offerings and eventually found herself at William and Mary College where she earned her masters degree in psychology, specializing in learning theory. The accounting major was never meant to be. She then moved to Miami, Florida, and worked as a cognitive therapist to aid head injury patients in their recovery.

Soon, however, the captivating beauty of the Florida inspired her to paint. She had married a Miami native who took pride in the local natural beauty and encouraged her creative side. She had left the frozen winters up north and discovered lush green palm trees, vibrant bougainvillea flowers and breathtaking tropical landscapes. With a fresh perspective on her surroundings, Karen was truly drawn to painting her view of southern Florida - looking up the trunk of palm trees, examining the beauty in mango fruit or coconuts.

Karen noticed every detail in the Florida surroundings, painting Florida seascapes and flora in watercolor and oil. She eventually would take her daughter for walks at Fairchild Tropical Garden and together they would notice the water lilies, orchids and hibiscus flowers. They would marvel at the banyan trees and elephant ear plants. Her inspiration came from the wonder in discovery of this whole new world. Encouraged by the art community support, Karen expanded her portfolio and began professionally showing her work in 1997. Happily, Karen is now dedicated to her art career and her family.