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Urban Muse

“Urban Muse” is a collection of paintings and color sketches captured while studying Seattle tap water and its sources.  It is a celebration of my city and the freedom to have access to clean healthy water.

Afternoon of a Lime, 16 x 20, $710

There have been many efforts to bring back the riparian environments that have been lost during our progress and urban growth.  It’s possible for citizens to come together to bring back filtering systems by planting trees and botanicals in public places and even back yards at creekside and tracing the water’s path.  I don’t pretend to be “making a difference” by painting urban water.  But I do hope to celebrate when something is good in hopes that there will be a small ripple of positive awareness.

Contact me at northwestcolor@gmail.com if you would like to purchase a painting from this collection.  I accept debit,credit (Paypal) and I offer payment plans in some cases.

“White Ditty” 20 x 24, $850

“Urban Spring with Neonlight” 20 x 24, $850

“On Blue” 40 x 24, $2100

These paintings from April and May are on a special sale; tailgate prices for the month of June to help raise funds for a hopeful upcoming paint sabbatical.

“Relief on Brooding Sound” 24 x 18, $750 ($480)

“More Moon II” 20 x 24, $1100 ($750)

“Sabbath With Plum” 24 x 18, $750

“Blushing he Pond” 24 x 20, $750

“Blushing the Pond II” 24 x 20, $750

“Dire’s Release II” 20 x 16, $550

At the Well

“At the Well XXVII”  10×10 Oil on Canvas, $350

New paintings will be ready for viewing on Mother’s Day, May 11 from 2pm to 7:30.

During the month of May, Karen will be opening her studio by appointment for showings of this new collection of water- above us,within us and sustaining us, the womb.  If you would like to be on the invitation list or would like to arrange a private showing, contact Karen at northwestcolor@gmail.com.  To view paintings, go to the Available Paintings 2014 page, link is above on the left.  :)  New paintings will be posted throughout the next month.

“Thornton Assurance”- 11 x 14, $650

The years as a painter have taught me that it’s a womb- our earth.  With water above and below and within us, we are sustained by the nature of this resource.  It’s feminine how we are cradled.

Available 2014

Sound Blues 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas $1500

Apricot Tincture 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas $1500

Good Cry 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas $1700

More Moon II Oil on Canvas $1500

Walking on Water

More Moon 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas Sold

It’s time to order 2014 commissions that will help benefit local urban watersheds.

It’s March and again I’m offering a special to designers for 2014 commissions.  10% of proceeds from all Spring commissions ordered before June 15th will go to the urban watershed project of the client’s choice.  The designer and the client can choose the feel and the style of the painting(s) as long as they celebrate healthy water.  The catch is that I get to come and give my twenty minute talk (equipped with basket including champagne or tea, a baguette and a local pear.)  My scheme is to bring my love and hope for our water, wether sky, on land or sea, it is a fine way to celebrate this finite resource.

I am currently working on paintings that are captured in local watersheds with an interest in light and the sensitivity to the change of the day.  I am able to provide references from some of the northwests top designers as well as clients who have ordered series for their home remodeling projects.

It is my hope to allow the designer and the client to direct me to their favorite places and their most preferred light as it changes with the time of the day.

Yonder Valley 24 x 30 Oil on Canvas

Sold as part of designer client commission.

Over LA (a small study for the urban water series

completed in 2013.)

Hush 40 x 30 Oil on Canvas, Captured in the Nisqually Wildlife Refuge.  This piece was a part of a commission project honoring the Nisqually Watershed.

Little River Blues, 12 x 18 from the NIsqually project.

Nisqually Glacier 40 x 30 sold

Matthew’s Find 30 x 30 Captured in the urban waters of Thornton Creek near Lake Washington

Winter 2014

“Twilight on Green”  36 x 40  $2100

Open Studio Epiphany Show

Karen Luke Fildes 2014 Open Studio “Epiphany Show”

Thursday, January 16 from 4-10 pm.

You are invited help Karen warm the new studio.  Stop in for a quick tour, new works of art, a beverage to warm your tummy and a taste of interesting happenings that are coming to the world of Karen Luke Fildes and her husband, nature writer, David George Gordon.

in Lake City:

2620 NE 113th Street

Seattle, WA  98125

To request a private showing or to view new paintings via email,

contact Karen at



I have such gratitude.

This has been a season of dedicated work- celebrating water.  The connection of sea to sky has been the thing- the best way for me to take in my daily bread is to study it again and again.

You may know that I work as an art therapist but more importantly, I am a “grief nanny” with a love for children in serious transition.  My current family has lost their mommy to a 2 year battle with cancer.  The three children in my care are an inspiration- unnamed but I must say that they not only have learned how to see, but they teach me daily to see beyond.

We stop during “Phoshilaron” (the change of day when the light dances with the birds) and we notice the harmonies that happen.  We do this because water is one of the few tangible ways to connect heaven and earth for us- water above and water below.  The light plays with the vapor and the change happens quickly enough that even the birds try to catch it.  So do I.

The truth is that it calms our questions and it entertains our notions about things unknown- without words… words can be limiting when it comes to cancer.  Some days are very dark and grey, but as we have studied, there is always a tonality to the grey- to study it is to find consonance.  I painted twenty five during this past year… Each painting was snatched up by a collector or friend. They went off to different places at tailgate shows and one flew off to Syracuse New York.  I didn’t get much chance to show any work this last year since collectors gently paid ahead to keep me going.  (Thank you- you know who you are.)  It is the process that calms me for the children.

Seven of these paintings were purchased by one collector while they were in the beginning stages, two not even created yet.  She invited me to her home where she was undergoing a renovation.  She wanted to bring the colors of atmosphere inside and she liked the moody atmospheric work I was currently focused on so she decided to go with seven commissioned pieces.  The paintings have since been completed and delivered and in a couple of weeks I will visit them to give them some varnish and a few final marks to settle them in their new environment.  These are a few that were purchased this year.  Thank you for helping me to keep painting.  I need you, my lovely collectors.  Some of you bought “starter paintings” this year at a tailgate sale… congratulations.  They have much love and even some very fine hopes hiding in them.  They were skies that we saw, right from the home of the family that I care for.

The Eat A Bug Cookbook is Available!

I was lucky enough to illustrate the new revised edition of the Eat a Bug Cookbook written by husband, David George Gordon.  I used pen and ink and sharpie… redrawing and redrawing with the surprise of falling “in like” with these misunderstood creatures.  Why not diversify?  (If only in the condiments department.)  I’d easily shake some Tibetan ants on my pear salad- yum gulp gulp and yum- with an after zing that harkens to clove, lemon and euphoria.  Really!

My Nordstrom days in textile design (lingerie of course) has burst out again.  English and Arabic patterns inspired me and I think I like the result.  They should be available as prints although I romanticize that I may someday have silk pajamas with garden bugs or maybe even a cockroach kimono!  The creatures who were once scary and ugly to me have become interesting and almost delightful.

…the funny thing is, I have softened to the idea that we should be attentive to our cultural elitism when it comes to the culinary arts.  What started out as a science writer’s tongue and cheek way of opening Americans’ eyes has become a legitimate philosophical discussion on the table of world food.  It’s a good read!  Seriously entertaining!

My Mini Beast Menagerie

An exhibit of inkings and Sharpied ditties celebrating

the misunderstood creatures at Cafe Racer on Thurs, March 7!

Karen Luke Fildes will be featuring original illustrations and native sketches used for the upcoming re-release of The Eat a Bug Cookbook by David George Gordon.  Also included will be slimier works from The Secret World of Slugs and Snails along with other choice mini beasts in oil, Sharpie and glitter.

There will be mini beast games, prizes, an auction to help fund darling husband’s beastly medical antics, and there will be music and divine entertainment featuring Operadisiac at 8:30 and The Fabulous Party Boys (!!!!!!) will play at 10:00 pm.

Come join the Party on the first Thursday and bring your own mini beastie friend.

What: A Mini Beast Party

Where: Cafe Racer, Seattle, WA 5828 Roosevelt Way 206-523-JAVA

When: March 7, 6-11pm (or so)… the show will hang through sometime in April

Why: Because although they’re icky, they have a certain elegance that is somewhat uncelebrated.

…for info on the event or to purchase a mini beast, contact Karen at northwestcolor@gmailcom

Available Paintings

Nisqually Sky

Don's Dance 36 x 48 Nisqually Sky $1100 sold

Cassia's Assurance 20 x 24 Sold $520

Cassia's Assurance, 24 x 30, $820 Sold

Both Sides Now III 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas $520

Both Sides Now III 20 x 24 Oil on Canvas sold

Meadowbrook Bouree 12 x 18  $300

Meadowbrook Bouree 12 x 18 sold

You can use debit or credit through Paypal, just let me know which painting you are interested in.  I add for shipping and the painting will come to you within a week.

Contact me at northwestcolor@gmail.com or call me at 206-595-2171.

LA Arboretum

LA Arboretum 12 x 16, $420 painted in the spot where Tarzan was filmed frolicking with Jane

Open Sesame

Open Sesame 12 x 16 Brilliantly Framed, a rainy day in the Nisqually. $560

Reckon With Honey II

Reckon With Honey II sold

Yonder Blues II

Yonder Blues II There were healthy Chinook swimming upward on this day. sold

Chang with Lemon - $995

30 x 40 $800 Nisqually Wildlife Refuge sold

Soft Entrance

Soft Entrance 27 x 33 oil on Canvas, from the Nisqually Mudflats, one of the first of the Watershed Series Sold

Husg II, Oil 24 x 30, Pleine air in the rain, Nisqually Wildlife Refuge $710 Sold

Dire's Release $220 From a Tale of Two Watersheds

Woman at the Well VII $125 10 x 10 sold

Barga For Love, Oil on Canvas, 12 x 16 $500

Deluxe Sold

Dogwood - $90

Dogwood - $90 Sold

Indian Paintbrush (framed) - $165

Indian Paintbrush (framed) - $165 Sold

You can use debit or credit through Paypal, just let me know which painting you are interested in.  I add for shipping and the painting will come to you within a week.

Contact me at northwestcolor@gmail.com or call me at 206-595-2171.

Would you like to schedule a Tailgate Party?  Do it!

… it’s an art party in my trunk.  If you haven’t had one, here’s how it works.

I come to your home, office or venue and show my newest paintings and prints. I bring a basket with baguette, cheese and a pear and something sparkly to drink.  I’ll even bring Cheez Whiz or roasted crickets if that’s your thing. New paintings are now available to anyone at tailgate prices for a short while…  If you reserve a get together soon or call to inquire about a painting during the sale, I will honor trunk prices. Older pieces are orphans from previous series along with hidden favorites stolen from the archives. Prints start at $22, oil paintings start at $100.  I’m not sure what will be in my trunk when I come to you.  I hope to sell everything this summer!

Call Karen at 206-595-2171

or email her at northwestcolor@gmail.com

The catch is:

You let me give my thirty-minute spiel on watershed awareness and I try to turn you on to loving northwest light and the benefits of noticing the changes of the day.

Interplay I: Peak - $140

Interplay I: Peak - $140 Sold

Interplay III: Riparian - $140

Interplay III: Riparian - $140 Sold

Interplay IV:Estuary - $140

Interplay IV:Estuary - $140  Sold

Meadowbrook Bouree - $375

Meadowbrook Bouree $520

Refuge XI

Refuge XI Sold

Sea to Sky - $850

Sea to Sky - $850 Sold


Sigh Sold

Soft Entrance - $800

Soft Entrance - $800

Sound Passage - $375

Sound Passage - $375 Sold

The Way

The Way Sold

Thimbleberry - $90

Thimbleberry - $90 Sold

Tigerlily (framed) - $165

Tigerlily (framed) - $165 Sold

Yonder Blues - $375

Yonder Blues - $475