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Wildlife and Landscape Pastel Painter



  • American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Origination Design Competition
  • Gold ADDY at both the District 6 (Mid West) and Indianapolis Competitions
  • Indianapolis ADDY Merit
  • Healthcare Marketing Report Merit
  • Hoosier Times. ”Karen Strum imagines, then jumps”
  • Zionsville Times Sentinel. ”ZCHS graduate zooms down Imagination Street”


My artist mother taught me to draw in perspective before I could even read; though my formal education includes Indiana University, Indianapolis Art Center, and Dunedin Fine Arts Center. I have completed apprenticeships in sterling silver jewelry design, casting, and manufacturing; photorealism, and large-scale outdoor signage. After completing college, my first job was illustrating instruction books for RCA and GE. Most of my career has been spent working in graphic arts and commercial illustration, however in the last five years I have made a gradual transition into fine art. Two decades in advertising have influenced the composition, typography, and color forecasting principles used in my work.

I like to spend time in the outdoors hiking, sailing, kayaking, or just gazing at the stars as an amateur astronomer. Many of my paintings depict these subjects as well as illustrating my lifelong love for animals and nature.