About the Work

Every day I am inspired by observing the natural world, whether it is the intricacy of a leafy branch, the texture and lines of a mountain rock, or a bold color in the sky. I see endless contradictions within the same landscape: light/dark; arid/wet; sharp/soft; living/dying. I feel compelled to examine this harmonious paradox in my work as I seek to capture the mystery, variation and whimsicality I find in every natural scene.

Nature is never still and so I begin my process by spilling and in turns adding different colors of paint onto the paper to create a ground.  Though I manipulate the paint using various techniques, there is always an element of surprise and wildness.  I strive to maintain this feeling of movement and spontaneity, so elemental to nature, as I develop the painting to its finished state.  More recently I have also begun working on wood, finding inspiration in the natural grains of the wood to create more abstract representations of the natural world.

Public Art Commissions

Alameda County Arts Commission:

Cherryland Community Center, Cherryland, CA (four commissioned paintings on permanent exhibit)

Castro Valley utility box art, six locations, Castro Valley, CA   (2019 – present)

Selected Shows and Exhibits

San Diego Museum of Art Artists Guild Spring Online Exhibition, Juror: Nancy Lim, March – May 2024

Valley Art Gallery, Featured Artist, February – March  2024, Walnut Creek, CA

California Watercolor Association 54th National Exhibition, Juror:  Carolyn Lord, Jan-March 2024

O’Hanlon Center for the Arts, Arts and Ecology national online show, Juror: Obi Kaufman, Mill Valley, CA, Mar-April 2023

California Watercolor Association 53rd National Exhibition, Juror: Gary Tucker, Harrington Art Gallery, Pleasanton, CA, Jan-Mar 2023

California Watercolor Association 52nd National Exhibition, Juror: Andy Evansen, Harrington Art Gallery, Pleasanton, CA, Jan – Mar 2022

Yosemite Renaissance 36,  Yosemite National Park Museum Gallery, Yosemite, CA, and traveling locations (1st prize winner)  Mar – Sep 2021

44th International Watermedia Exhibit, Houston Watercolor Art Society. Juror: KeitoTenabe, Houston, TX, Mar 2021

Firehouse Arts Center,   Center Hallway Gallery (one person exhibition), Pleasanton, CA Nov – Dec 2019

Arc Gallery, SNAP Exhibit , San Francisco, CA,  Jan 2019

Moraga Art Gallery, Moraga, CA, Featured guest Artist, 2018 and 2014

Yosemite Renaissance 33, Yosemite National Park Museum Gallery, Yosemite, CA and traveling locations  Mar – Sep 2018

Harrington Gallery, Fresh Works Exhibit (Merit Award), Pleasanton, CA  May – Jun 2017

Coos Art Museum, Expressions West 2017, Juror: Katherine Chang Liu, Coos Bay, Oregon, Apr – Jun 2017

Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, 31st Annual International Competition, Jurors: Faculty of Fine Arts, FSU, Tallahasse, Fl (Aug – Oct  2016)

San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, Bay Area Invitational Exhibition, Juror: Alan Bamberger, (awarded Juror’s Pick), San Francisco, CA, Apr- May 2016

Chico Art Center, 2015 National All Media Juried Exhibition, Chico, CA, Jul – Aug 2015

Collector gallery, Berkeley, CA, Feb-April 2015 and 2013

Dab Art 2014 International Juried Exhibition, HUD Gallery, Ventura, CA, Nov – Dec 2014

California Water Color Association 44th National Exhibition ,Juror: Elaine Daily-Birnbaum, 
Olive Hyde Gallery, Fremont, CA,  Feb – Mar 2013

Women’s Cancer Resource Center, Oakland, CA 2012

The Alta Bates Summit Medical Center Community Art Gallery, Berkeley, CA 2012

Gallery 411/Classic Cars West, Oakland Art Murmur, Oakland, CA, 2011

Permanent Collections

Stanford Medical Center, Stanford, CA

Pacifica Family Maternity Center, Berkeley CA


Watercolor Workshop Instructor, Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA


member, Valley Art Gallery, Walnut Creek, CA

juror for member shows, California Watercolor Association

About the Artist

Born in New York City, I was raised in Berkeley, California. Over the years, I studied art at the University of California, Berkeley, and Laney and Merritt Colleges in Oakland, California.  I have spent most of my career as a public interest lawyer but returned primarily to my original passions of drawing and painting in 2010.

Meet the Artist

Featured Artist Interview

Artist Spotlight: Karen Kramer, Watercolorist

Featured Artist Interview 

Visit my Studio

Studios Eleven

560 2nd Street, Oakland, CA (near Jack London Square).  Enter through The Grand Gallery

Wheel chair accessible; free street parking

Please email info@karenkramerart.com (or use contact form)  to make appointment or confirm hours