Artist's Statement

I grew up in a very beautiful city. There were very beautiful people there. There were beautiful beaches, beautiful architecture, beautiful gardens and beautiful weather. Everywhere you looked there was obvious beauty.

But I didn't feel beautiful there...the city's beauty was overwhelming me, overpowering my senses. I had to move away to a grey climate. On April Fools Day, 1982 I moved from Santa Barbara, California (affecionately known as the Plastic Paradise) to Seattle, Washington.

Like someone who had been dining on sweets for too long a time, I crave the heartier meat of a subject. Generally I eschew classic beauty (though I admit sometimes I am compelled to take the obligatory "pretty picture") and I search for what I call the "Alternate Beauty". My personal work has been called "quirky" and "off-beat". Oddness, irreverence, and chaos, among other things, speak to me. And sometimes, if I'm lucky or listen closely enough, they sing to me.

I now live in Edmonds, WA with my hubby, two kids, and miscellaneous animals.


  • 2006 Center for Fine Art Photography, “After Dark” Juried Exhibition, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2006 Solo Show: “2 Iowa N Back” John L. Scott, Edmonds, Wa
  • 2005 Hon.Mention: Photographic Ctr. NW Juried Exhibition, Seattle, WA, Juror: Marita Holdaway
  • 2005 Solo Show: Faces of Places, Gallagher’s, Edmonds, WA
  • 2005 Solo Show: Colors of Flamenco, Lombardi’s, Ballard, Seattle
  • 2005 Cascades Gallery, Black & White Exhibition, Issaquah, WA, Juror: Ron Hammond
  • 2005 Center for Fine Art Photography, Members Juried Exhibition, Fort Collins, CO
  • 2005 Arts Council Snohomish County, Juried Group exhibition “Pets on Parade”, Everett, WA
  • 2004 Visual Proof, Group Exhibition at Photographic Center Northwest, Seattle, Juror: Roy Flukinger
  • 2004 Equine Art Group Exhibition, Emerald Downs Race Track, WA
  • 2004 Arts Council Snohomish County, Juried Group exhibition “Art of the Garden”, Everett, WA
  • 1995 American Photographer Magazine, “Portrait of America” contest, November issue
  • 1993 Polaroid Transfer Juried Exhibition at Nelleke Nix Gallery, Kirkland, WA
  • 1992 Individual Show “Flower Series”, Chantrelle’s , Edmonds, WA
  • 1992 Northwest Center for the Arts, Harvest Art Festival Juried Art Show, Stanwood, WA
  • 1991 Photographer’s Forum, Honorable Mention “Best of Photography” Annual Book
  • 1991 Chandler Fine Arts, Group Show, Seattle, WA
  • 1990 Edmonds Art Festival, Juried Show, Edmonds, WA
  • 1990 10,000 Eyes Group Exhibition “To the Limits of Light”, Seattle Center, WA
  • 1989 Photographic Center Northwest, Group Holiday Show, Seattle, WA
  • 1989 Photographer’s Forum, “Best of Photography” Annual Book


  • 1987 Associate Degree Commercial Photography, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle, WA
  • 1979 Associate Degree Nursing, Santa Barbara City College, Santa Barbara, CA


  • ’85-present Karen Orders Photography (originally KLM photography). Seattle, WA
  • ’91-’92 Part time Staff Photographer, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
  • ’82-’89 Registered Nurse, Virginia Mason Hospital, Seattle, WA
  • ’80-’82 Registered Nurse, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Santa Barbara, CA