Karen Ahlgren

Portraying these wild beings in a vivid non-local palette, with tenderness, allows the viewer to approach their soulfulness with greater ease.


About the Art

Karen’s focus on animals represents my love, respect, and concern for them – especially in this day and age where many thousands are on the brink of extinction due to human activities, ignorance, and arrogance. The combination of portraying these wild beings in a vivid non-local palette and with tenderness allows the viewer to approach their soulfulness with greater ease.

Karen used to paint on her dining table, but life has become easier once she gained her beautiful studio gallery. She needs absolute solitude and quiet to accomplish her works, the smaller of which may be completed in 2 days to 2 weeks. Her larger pieces can take rather longer. She will often be waiting for the paint to dry on one work as she begins another. Her discipline is more practical than inspirational, being a working artist. Inspiration comes from picking up the paintbrush again.

She paints in undiluted watercolor, giving her work a vividness that brings to mind the brilliant colors and magical surrealism of South American art forms. Her style is coherent and powerful. Her conviction, and her strength of purpose is evident in her work. The paintings are strong, striking, the animals bold and unequivocal. They gaze out of each brilliant frame with a look that commands attention.


Karen Ahlgren grew up in northern California with a lifelong passion for animals. From spending her early summers in the forests of northern California and later living near the mesas of New Mexico, Karen developed her deep appreciation and love for the natural world. Here her passion and connection with wild beings was nurtured as they passed through her own land.

While living in southern Mexico as an exchange student during high school, she became enamored of the jewel-toned colors in native costumes, folk art, and traditions. She has painted professionally since 1989.

Karen was an Artist in Residence at the north rim of the Grand Canyon in 2010 and was chosen as an Image Award Artist for the 2019 Taos Fall Arts Festival. Her studio/gallery is in Jaroso, Colorado on the New Mexican border.


Karen Ahlgren
P.O. Box 7
Amalia, NM 87512

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