Karen Mortensen

Karen Mortensen

Yucca Valley, CA, United States

About Karen Mortensen

I was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, a country occupied by the Nazis in 1943, and raised among art and artists. When I was 12 our family immigrated to Canada and subsequently to USA. After living in many cities and countries I finally settled in Hawaii where I spent my time happily in my waterfall garden and creating my art. After 17 years in Hawaii showing my art at numerous venues and winning many awards I have now relocated to Yucca Valley in California and established a new studio. Of course outside my studio I again built a large wildlife pond and waterfall with numerous birdfeeders around my desert gardens. I truly hope that this will be my final destination where I can concentrate on desert inspired artwork.


I studied at Chouinard Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles but consider myself an autodidact.
As a result my education has been mostly done on my own where I specialize in portraits in both my paintings and sculpture. Lifelong learning and extensive exploration of materials has fed my constant and continuing inspiration for producing art.


In June 2012 I had the privilege to have a month long exhibition with my good friend and neighbor Ethel Mann titled 'Kindred Spirits' This very successful two-woman show hosted by the East Hawaii Cultural was entirely installed by us. We produced a film about our show which can be seen on utube. In 2014 we had another two-woman show, 'Kindred Spirits II' hosted by Hawaii Museum of Contemporary Art in Hilo Hawaii.


I have exhibited extensively in Hawaii and also in US mainland. Participating in numerous juried group shows has garnered me many awards. It has been an honor to be included in the prestigious Schaefer Portrait Challenge since it's inception 13 years ago.