Archive for the ‘Musings’ category

Solo Show Opens July 3, 2014

June 16, 2014

Art + Soul Gallery will be hosting a solo show of my latest work, opening July 3, 2014.  The gallery is located at 1615 Pearl Street in Boulder, Colorado.  More that 20 new paintings will be on display in their beautiful space through August 24.  If you are in the local area, please stop by the artist reception on July 10, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.  This photo is “Winterlight,” 40 x 40, oil on canvas, © 2014 Karen Scharer

"Winterlight," 40 x 40, oil on canvas, © 2014 Karen Scharer

“Winterlight,” 40 x 40, oil on canvas, © 2014 Karen Scharer


The September 2013 Colorado Flood

June 15, 2014

On September 11, 2013, the community in which I live and work was devastated by what would later be called a “Thousand-Year Flood”.  More than 17 inches of rain fell over a four-day period.  Although my husband Al and I suffered no damage to our home or my studio, our roads, electricity, water supply, phone lines, and a system of five dams and lakes were all destroyed.  Every major highway in the area was severely damaged.  Entire towns were cut off.  Across seventeen Colorado counties, thousands of Coloradans suffered severe damage to their homes, or lost them completely.  Eight people were killed.  The number of people rescued by National Guard helicopters as a result of the flood was second only to the record number rescued during Hurricane Katrina.

My husband and I and our dog, Bridget, evacuated from our home by helicopter a week after the flood.  We stayed briefly with friends, and then relocated to a condominium in Estes Park, normally about a 30 minute drive from our home.  At that point, it might as well have been on a different planet.  There was simply no way to get back.  We had evacuated with two suitcases and our computers, leaving everything else behind, including our vehicles.  We had to buy a car.  Friends and family sent us care packages of clothing and other necessities.  The organization that owned the condo we rented graciously provided us with basic furniture and housekeeping items.  It was a very disturbing and disorienting experience, but we were very lucky…we were okay, and we knew that we still had a home we could eventually return to.  That was more than thousands of other evacuees could look forward to.

Because of truly remarkable efforts on the part of many individuals and organizations, after nearly four months of being evacuated, Al and I were able to return to our home for New Year’s Eve.  At that point we had passable (though rugged) roads, electricity, water from a cistern we had plumbed into the house, and phones via our satellite internet service.  We watched our water use carefully, burned a lot of firewood, and were grateful to be home.

We are still looking for normal.  Landline phones were only restored about three weeks ago.  We still don’t have a mail box, and have to drive to the Post Office to get our mail…which can be anywhere from a one hour to a four-hour round trip, depending on the activity in the construction zones where work on the damaged highway is still continuing.  Heavy spring runoff temporarily closed one of only two ways into the community, leaving us a bit uneasy when it rained until the second road could be restored.  Construction delays make it almost impossible to predict how long it will take to get anywhere.  And rebuilding the dams that once gave the community a string of picturesque lakes will be a multi-year task.

For me, the closest thing to normal has been my time in the studio.  I am so grateful for the commitment to my work that allows me to indulge in many hours of escape from continually confronting an unimaginably lengthy and complex reconstruction and recovery task.  My work renews my energy and optimism, and helps me to see the beauty that still remains in spite of the destruction.  I have never been more thankful to have found my life’s work in painting.

You can scroll through the photos in this gallery by clicking on any of them.


Two Shows Opening the Week of April 15th…

April 8, 2013
"Surface", 40 x 40 , oil on canvas, © 2013 Karen Scharer

“Surface”, 40 x 40 , oil on canvas, © 2013 Karen Scharer

I’m not sure whether it was courage or craziness that caused me to accept invitations to do two shows that would end up opening in the same week….But, when opportunity knocks, who doesn’t want to open that door???

So, I have a solo show opening at my favorite Boulder, Colorado gallery, Art + Soul on April 18 with an Artist’s Reception on May 2 from 5 to 8 pm.  And I am one of four artists participating in “Mind Over Matter” opening at Space Gallery in Denver on April 19 with an Opening Reception that evening from 6 to 9 pm.  The work featured here is “Surface,” 40 x 40, oil on canvas which will be part of the show at Space.  Both shows will run through June 1.








What Do You Think?

July 1, 2012
"Flavors 3", 20 x 20 , oil on canvas, © 2012 Karen Scharer

“Flavors 3,” one of the paintings included in the referenced show at Space Gallery in Denver…20 x 20, oil on canvas, © 2012 Karen Scharer.

I recently agreed to be interviewed for an article in Westword, an online (and print) publication in Denver that focuses on arts and entertainment.  The author of the article, Tiffany Fitzgerald, did a pretty good job of presenting my thoughts on abstract art and why I paint the way I do, as discussed during the interview.  Her article does focus more on the annoying habit some people have of looking at abstract art and claiming their children could do it than we really discussed during the interview.  Nevertheless, I was pretty happy with her article.  However, it produced a rather vicious comment from a reader, and a couple of responses from other readers who took issue with the comment.  Would love to hear from some other art-involved folks….Do you think my remarks were out of line?  Did the reader overreact?  If you have a few moments, the full article is online at .  Please share your thoughts!

A Destination Art Space

May 31, 2012


Art + Soul Gallery (displaying my artwork) at 1615 Pearl Street in Boulder, CO

Art + Soul Gallery in Boulder, Colorado is a beautiful gallery space full of fine art and beautiful fine jewelry.  I stopped by the other day, and just had to grab a photo of my triptych “Mid-Winter Thaw” hanging behind the main desk in the front gallery (along with a few other pieces of my work).  The triptych is three 40 x 30 pieces, and is one of my larger projects to date.  The gallery is located at 1615 Pearl Street in Boulder, and it’s well worth a special stop if you’re anywhere near the area!

Award-Winning Painting in Artist’s Magazine

November 6, 2011
“Resolve,” oil on canvas, 36″ x 60,” (c) 2009 Karen Scharer

I am thrilled to announce that my abstract oil painting, “Resolve,” was selected as an Honorable Mention winner in the “Experimental” category of the 2011 Artist’s Magazine Annual Competition.  There were over 700 entries in the Experimental category alone, so being selected as one of only six awards is very exciting, and a real honor.  The painting is a favorite of mine and is part of a series of pieces created during the winter, which is a time of mostly subdued color in the area where I live.  In prior years, I have had three different paintings selected as “Finalists” in the Artist’s Magazine competitions, but this is the first time I have been an award winner.  Yay!  The painting appears in the current (December) issue of Artist’s Magazine which has just appeared on newsstands.

Available at Element in Denver

October 29, 2011


"Grove", oil on canvas, 36" x 36", c. Scharer Fine Art, Inc.

Element is a fun, eclectic collection of furnishings, accessories, and fine art located in downtown Denver.  Great place to visit if you want to find really special items to enliven your living spaces.  They have several of my original paintings on display including “Grove”, pictured here.  If you are in Denver, stop by the store for a visit…you’ll really enjoy it!  They are located at 1426 Larimer Street, downtown.

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