Personal StatementRésuméRecent ShowsUpcoming EventsAwardsReviews

      As an artist, Karen Shelton achieves paintings that emit and evince a human experience. Her subject matter consists of the everyday, and yet she has mastered that quality that makes a painting successful.  She reaches further, beyond the abstract and the representational, into an intimate spirituality that consists of her individual way of seeing things balanced against the personal experiences that each viewer brings to his interaction with her paintings.

      In building her compositions of beautiful and comfortable common objects, Karen Shelton challenges the complacency with which we as viewers see and by-pass these very subjects.  She is not building static still-life scenes, but vignettes that see a dramatic play between light and dark; between treasured and overlooked.

      In addition to the many private and corporate collections that boast her work, she has watercolors in the permanent collections of the Portsmouth Museum in Portsmouth, Virginia, and the Caswell Council for Arts and History in North Carolina.  Karen Shelton currently shows her work at her home studio in South Boston, Virginia.

Personal Statement:
      God gave me a gift that I have enjoyed all my life; and now, feeling more grateful and taking it more seriously, I am working hard to cultivate and improve on that desire.  I admire artists who bring the hurts of the world to our attention; but I personally need to express my love and appreciation for the beauty of life. I am presently painting still lifes – objects and flowers that, for me and hopefully my audience, evoke warm feelings of family, serenity and even spirituality.
      I am not trying to make a statement with my art other than to appreciate the everyday world around me...the beauty of the fruits of the earth and the love of family and those that came before me.  

Karen Shelton is a signature member of the Virginia Watercolor Society and the Southern Watercolor Society. 

I have stopped doing the 'outdoor festivals' but will continue selling from my studio/gallery and my website.

Selected Juried Shows, Festivals & other exhibitions:
2010 Art Awards Show, Va. Beach Convention Center, January 30 & 31
2009 4 Bridges Art Show, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Artsplosure, Raleigh, NC
Whalehead Art Under the Oakes, Corolla, NC
Artspring 2009, Decatur House, Washington, D.C.
2008 Lynchburg National Juried Art Exhibition, Lynchburg, Va
2007 AAWS National, Winston-Salem, NC
Hilton Head National, Hilton Head, SC
2005 Virginia Watercolor Society Annual Show, Charlottesville, VA
Southern Watercolor Society Annual Show, Panama City, FL
Avenue of the Arts, Charlotte, NC
Sidewalk Art Show, Roanoke, VA
2004 Arts Alive, Ocean City, MD
Avenue of the Arts, Charlotte, NC
2003 Challenge of Champions, Houston, TX
Centerfest, Durham, NC

Recent Awards & Distinctions:
2009 Best in Show, Danville Art League, Danville, Va
Award of Distinction, Art on the Lawn, Danville, Va
Best Watercolor, Artspring, Decatur House, Washington, DC
Allan Ingles Palmer Memorial ... Best Watercolor, Roanoke, Va.
Best in Show, watercolor, Artspring, Washington, D.C.
2008 Honorable Mention, Danville Art League Members-Only Show
Fourth Place, Whalehead Art Show, Corrola, N.C.
Third Place, Third Annual Online Exhibition
Second Place, Seawall Art Show, Portsmouth, Va.
Award Of Distinction, Virginia Watercolor Society 29th Annual Show, "Blue Moon Rising/Nevermore"
Third Place, 29th Annual Juried Show, Caswell Council For the Arts, "Silent Sentinel"
First Place, Watercolor, Bon Air Art Affair, "Roses and Ponegranates"
2007 Judges Choice Award, Mt. Gretna Art Show, Mt. Gretna, Penn.
Best in Fine Art, Art at the Meadow, Chapel Hill, NC
Award of Distinction, Art on the Lawn, Danville, Va
Best Watercolor Award, Sidewalk Art Show, Roanoke , Va.
Judge's Choice/Best Watercolor Award, Arts Alive, Ocean City, Maryland
2006 "The Gordon Neal Memorial Award" Art on the Lawn, Danville, Virginia
"Best in Show", Whalehead Club Arts Festival, Corolla, NC
2005 "Best in Show" Avenue of the Arts, Charlotte, NC
"Award of Distinction" Art on the Lawn, Danville, VA
"Allen Ingles Palmer (Best Watercolor Award)" Sidewalk Art Show, Roanoke, VA
2nd place, 2D Centerfest, Durham, NC
2004 "John Will Creasy Memorial Award, Best Watercolor" Sidewalk Art Show, Roanoke, VA
"Best Watercolor" Arts Alive, Ocean City, MD
Published: invited to be included in "How Did You Paint That? 100 Ways to Paint Flowers & Gardens"

Selected Review Comments:
". . . I am a firm believer that artists can and should bring beauty and fresh vision to our lives. The Best-In-Show, Karen Shelton, "Reflections of Serenity and Joy", was noteworthy for its seamless merger of technical virtuosity, symbolism, and surprising beauty . . ."
- Mark Scala, Chief Curator & Director of Education, Art Museum of Western Virginia
Judge's Remarks, 1998 Annual Lynwood Artists Show
" . . . great composition and mastery of watercolor . . ."
- John Wetenhall, Ph. D., Director of Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, Tennessee
Judge's Remarks, 1996 Dimensions
on "Old McDonald Had Some Toys" (Graphic Dimensions Award)
"Lois' Clematis/Rainbow" by Karen Shelton is one of the most interesting pieces in the show in regard to a sense of depth. It is hard to tell where collage ends and painting elements begin. The engagement with the materials is what makes this image work."
- Carol Burch-Brown, Associate Provost Virginia Tech
Judge's Remarks, 1992 Annual Lynwood Artists members Only Show
comments regarding the DuPont Merit Award
" . . . Shelton is a master when working with watercolor. In her work you see boldness, life, exhilaration."
- Heather Yates, The Gazette-Virginian
09/03 reviewing The Prizery Art show, South Boston, Virginia
" . . . Particularly effective use of watercolor medium. For all the attention to the optical realism, there was an unmannered treatment of the watercolor. Sense of immediacy in the handling. Effective broad washes as well as the small more articulated marks. Very effective image."
- William G. White, Associate Professor of Art, Hollins College
Judge's Remarks, 1990 Lynwood Artists Show
on "Peaches and Shadow" (Merit Award")
" . . . pushed further than realism . . . well composed work . . . has impact . . . most compelling . . ."
- John Will Creasy, Artist & Co-founder Virginia Watercolor Society
Judge's Remarks, 1991 Lynwood Artists Show
on "Tempus Rufus" (Best-in-Show)

Email: or
Karen Shelton Fine Art
1201 E. Hyco Rd.
South Boston, VA. 24592
(434) 572-3146