Karen Offutt was born and raised in Dallas, Texas by a creative family who encouraged her to explore her artistic talent from an early age. Her father was an artist, and her mother is a designer and owner of a needlepoint company. Throughout her formative years, Karen excelled in art classes and participated in several art exhibits. As a young adult, she sought a more serious outlet for her talent.
Not finding the ultimate education for the type of realism she sought, Karen found art related jobs to keep her motivated. Learning to paint with oils was her goal and found that opportunity Austin Fine Arts Classes where she discovered a more classical approach. From there, she attended workshops from nationally renowned artists and from there began to find her own path in her creative journey.
From her studio in Austin, Karen approaches her paintings with an atmospheric sensitivity combining shape, tone, line, and color. The inspiration of her preferred subject matter comes ultimately from the figure. "I have always loved painting people whether in natural surroundings or in a more staged setting." “As an artist, I am very aware of my environment which invites me to be a constant observer. I see potential in everything, and my emotional reaction guides me to the specific inspiration. There are different aspects to my painting, for example, technical skill, creative freedom, and emotional truth. My goal is to create work that guides all these elements in a direction that moves me."