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Karen Lee Crenshaw


Karen Lee Crenshaw has been drawing "since she used to scribble on the walls as a child."  As the wife of Lt. Col. Bill Crenshaw, she has been a part of the military life since 1988.  She has twenty-two year-old twins, Tom and Kristen, who share her creativity and have also done their share of walll scribbling.  The family has lived here in Jacksonville NC for the last sixteen years where Karen maintains Crenshaw Art Studio in their home.


Karen has been accepting portrait commissions for a number of years and specializes in portraits of women and children.  Her work is traditional and lifelike, yet it maintains a painterly quality.  She enjoys providing her clients with an heirloom that will last for many generations.  


When she is not working on portraits, you can find her painting landscapes either in the studio or outdoors.  She regularly paints with the Onslow Outdoor Painter's Society and other artists who share her love of painting from life.  


Karen was born in South Dakota and grew up in West Virginia where she obtained a B.S. in Art Education from Concord College.  After teaching in Rockbridge County, VA, she returned to her studies at George Washington University in Washington DC earning a Master in Fine Arts in Painting.  Her paintings have been exhibited and have won awards in New York City, West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina, and DC.


Artist's Statement:  A sense of place.  That is the goal of my landscape paintings, for the viewer to "see" what I am seeing and to feel that is a place they have been or would like to visit.  Landscape painting, plein air painting, inspires me to capture the quality of the light that sets off that connection.  Many of my paintings depict the pinkish-blue tones of early morning light or the amber tones of late afternoon.  I love the contrasts of forms and oblique angles and shapes that occur when the sun is low on the horizon.  My challenge is to capture that moment in time, working quickly and keeping a dynamic abstract pattern with energetic brush strokes.