Featured Artist Karen Heidler

Artist Karen Heidler captures the light and personality of her subjects through wonderfully expressive watercolor paintings. Enjoy her portfolio and visit her website to see more.


Watercolor portrait of an elderly woman with a butterfly by Karen Heidler

“Memories Like Butterflies” Watercolor, 13.5” x 21”


I am a perfectionist and a coffee lover. Those two things go hand in hand with me as I am a photorealistic watercolorist who wants to achieve as high a level of realism as possible, and because the coffee helps me stay up into the late hours to paint.


Watercolor portrait of a dog on a bed by Karen Heidler

“Wish Upon A Squirrel” Watercolor, 21” x 14”


I like to compare painting realistically with climbing a mountain. Why would someone want to climb a mountain?! It’s so much work! You can just download a picture of what it looks like from up there!


Watercolor painting of two people inside the Café Delizique in Washington DC by Karen Heidler

“Café Delizique” Watercolor, 29” x 16”


It is the sense of accomplishment, the hours of training and honing my skills. The greatest feat is the final product, the view from the top! What does that mean to me? It’s creating a painting that I am proud of and can hardly believe I even painted. “I did that?”


Watercolor painting of a skateboarder by Karen Heidler

“Rise Where You Are” Watercolor, 14.5” x 21”


It’s surpassing my own boundaries to see how far I can push myself, how far I can make the watercolor do what I want it to do.


Watercolor still life of a cup of tea and seashells by Karen Heidler

“A Brief Restoration” Watercolor, 20” x 13.5”


Sometimes (most times) I have no idea how I am going to do what needs to be done. Often there is an internal anguish as I problem-solve how to begin the painting, determine the next step and the steps after that. Starting a painting is the hardest part. The best parts are when I get into the zone, lose track of time and see my painting come to life.


Watercolor pet portrait of a napping cat by Karen Heidler

“Silent Light” Watercolor, 21” x 13.5”


I love painting pet portraits because our pets bring so much joy into our lives. Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Master Bedroom” inspired me to paint the portrait of my cat as he napped one late afternoon. I wanted to capture that feeling of a lazy afternoon nap.


Watercolor portrait of an elderly woman named Kathleen by Karen Heidler

“Kathleen’s World” Watercolor, 14” x 20.5”


I love painting people because they are so challenging and rewarding. It truly feels like they are coming to life on the paper as the painting develops. I’ve painted portraits of new babies for their parents and it is so delightful to see their responses. I’ve painted portraits of people, young and old, that have passed away. I pour my love and empathy into those paintings.


Watercolor painting of the Sweet Escape Cafe in Spring Valley, CA, by Karen Heidler

“Sweet Escape Café” Watercolor, 20.5” x 28”


Determining what to paint can be challenging, because I want to paint so many things. I categorize my subjects and create series. I am currently working on a series of interesting trees that I’ve seen in my travels. When I plan out my paintings, I am most successful in creating a body of work.


Watercolor of two toddlers looking looking at a book by Karen Heidler

“Together In Wonderland” Watercolor, 21” x 14.5”


One of my goals is to create a connection to the viewer, whether with an emotional response or just an understanding that we’ve experienced something similar. I think we all want to be understood and be a part of something greater than ourselves.


Watercolor painting of the artist and her daughter reflected in a nautical reflecting sphere by Karen Heidler

“Nautical Reflecting Sphere” Watercolor, 21” x 14”


Besides painting, I am learning how to market my art by taking art marketing classes and getting as much information as I can. My greatest blessing and asset is having a family who loves and supports me and encourages me to succeed as an artist.


Artist Karen Heidler invites you to follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


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