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Karen Israel

Karen Israel

Karen Israel is an award-winningpastel artist whose work is known for dynamic compositions and unique viewpoints. She is influenced by light and mood and those elements will dictate her approach. In her paintings, Subjects are rendered with a strong appreciation for the rigors of formal design coupled with a fearless array of color choices.  

Karen enjoys teaching pastel and conducts demos and workshops; speaking about her process throughout the country. In addition, she has served as a juror for many local and national competitions. Karen earned the titles of Master Pastelist with the International Association of Pastel Societies and the Pastel Society of America. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society West Coast, Salmagundi Club, NYC and the Lyme Art Association, Connecticut.  

Recently, Karens work was featured in Practique Des Arts, Vol. 53, Sept 2020 and in Practique Des Arts, Vol. 47, July 2018. Her work was also featured in Pastel Journal in 2020, 2018, 2014 and 2012.   

Among her many awards, she placed Third in Pastel Journals Top 100 in 2012, 2014 and Fourth in 2020 and Honorable Mention in 2018. Additionally, her work has garnered numerous awards in National and International competitions. 

In 2020, Karen had been chosen to participate in Pastels of the World in Bourbonnais” honoring American Women Pastelists. This was cancelled due to the pandemic, however her work will be on display at the Chateau de Louviere in an exhibit with 9 other American artists in 2021. Karen has been invited to travel and teach at this exciting venue.    


  • National Pastel Workshops,2021-2018, Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod, Southwest Florida Pastel Society, Central Mass Pastel Society, Pastel Society of New Jersey, Pastel Society of New Hampshire, Connecticut Pastel Society, Pastel Society of Cape Cod 
  • Pastel Society of America Workshop, 2020, 2019 
  • Lyme Art Association plein aire Workshop, 2020 
  • Weekly pastel classes for the West Hartford Art League, Farmington Valley Art Center and Glastonbury Art Guild, 2020 – 2017 



  • Master Pastelist, Pastel Society of America 
  • Master Circle Member, International Association of Pastel Societies 
  • Fellow Maxima Cum Lade, American Artist Professional League, NYC 
  • Elected Member, Lyme Art Association, Old Lyme, Ct 
  • Elected Member, Salmagundi Club, NYC 



      Bachelor of Science, Physical Therapy, Ithaca College 


  • Fourth Place Wildlife Category, Pastel Journal, Pastel 100, 2020 
  • Air float Award, Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod,2020 
  • Bold Brush Fav 15%: January, February, July (twice), 2020 
  • Atlantic Papers Awards, Audubon Artist National, 2020  
  • Honorable Mention, Connecticut Pastel Society, Purely Pastel Exhibit, 2020  
  • Honor Award of Excellence, Connecticut Pastel Society Member Exhibit, 2018, 2020 
  • Top 100 Pastel Journal Magazine Honorable Mention, 2017, 2019  
  • Best in Show, Pastel Society of the West Coast International, 2019  
  • Mortimer E. Freehof Memorial Award, Salmagundi Members Exhibit, 2019  
  • Second Place, Pastel Society of Maine International Juried, 2019 
  • Merit Award, Salmagundi Member Exhibit, 2019  
  • Rembrandt Award, Pastel Society of New Hampshire National, 2019 
  • Granby Land Trust Award, Granby Art Association Celebrating New Englands Beauty, 2019  
  • Flora Giffuni Memorial Award, American Artists Professional League National, 2019 
  • Gold Medal of Honor, Audubon Artists National, 2018 
  • First Place, Lyme Art Association Associate Exhibit, 2018 
  • Whitney Center Award, New Haven Paint and Clay Club National, 2018  
  • Merit Award of Excellence, Connecticut Pastel Society Purely Pastel Exhibit, 2018  
  • Second Place, Pastel Guild of Europe, 2018 
  • Leila Gardin Sawyer Memorial, American Artist Professional League National, 2018 
  • First Place, Maple and Main Juried Exhibit, 2018 
  • Honorable Mention, Pastel Society of North Carolina, Pure Color Online, 2018  
  • Best Pastel Award, Ivory and Lead Online Exhibit, 2018  

Website Publications 

Journal Publications 

  • Practique des Arts, French Art Magazine, 2-page article, vol 53, 2020 
  • Practique des Arts, French Art Magazine, 2-page article, vol 47,2018  
  • Pastel Journal April 2021 ,2014, 2012 

Selected Recent Exhibits 

  • Copley Regional Pastel Exhibit, 2020 
  • Pastels of the World in Bourbonnais International Exhibition, The Orangery of the Château de La Louvière, Montlucon, France,2020 (Postponed to 2021 due to Pandemic) 
  • Pastel Society of America Enduring Brilliance” National Show, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2013, 2012 
  • Pastel Society of the West Coast National, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017 
  • Lyman Allyn Museum Celebrates a Century of Connecticut Art from the New Haven Paint & Clay Club, 2020 
  • For Pastels Only, Cape Cod National Show, 2020, 2019, 2017, 2016 
  • International Association of Pastel Societies Gallery Show, Dunedin Fla 2020 
  • Hudson Valley Art Association, 2020 ,2019, 2018, 2014, 2013 
  • Allied Artists of America, NYC 2020(web),2018, 2012 
  • Academic Artists Association, 2020(Web),2018, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012 
  • Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club Juried Show, NYC 2020(Web), 2019, 2018 
  • Renaissance in Pastel, CPS,2020(Web),2019,2018,2017,2015,2013,2011 
  • Capturing Life and Beauty: Women Artists of the New Haven Paint and Clay Club, New Haven Museum, 2019 
  • American Artists Professional League Grand National Exhibit, NYC, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013 
  • International Association of Pastel Societies Web Show, 2019, 2018 
  • International Association of Pastel Societies Gallery Show, Brea, CA, 2019 
  • International Association of Pastel Societies Gallery Show, Albuquerque, NM, 2017, 2013 

Board Positions 

  • Pastel Society of America, Board of Governors,2021-2017 
  • Hudson Valley Art Association, Board Member, 2020 
  • Connecticut Pastel Society, President 2014-2017, Board Member, 2020