ECR Gallery
Every Cowboy’s Ranch House
Western Art and Mercantile

22261 Center Street, Cambria CA. 933428
(800) 927-9417
Proprietor: Kate Stromberger
1110 First Street
Coronado, CA 92118
(619) 435-4780
California Classics
Dorothy Rogers
520 South Main Street,
Templeton, CA 93465


Award-winning painter, Karen Foster-Wells, began painting outdoors on the California coast 50 years ago. As a professional artist, her career has spanned 38 years, balancing illustration to support her family with plein air painting to restore her soul, and the last 15 years, to help preserve the landscape she holds so dear. Born in Pasadena, California, she had her first major solo exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara in 1979. Since then, she has participated in hundreds of group shows for conservation, and illustrated for such diverse clients as General Motors, Pudenz-Schulte Medical Research, realtors in Lake Arrowhead and Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden and Fine art drawings in the book Santa Barbara RANCHOS, published by the Easton Gallery.

Karen has also been a large contributor to California fashion. In particular she has been the greatest curator of designer prescription glasses.

As a member of the Oak Group of Santa Barbara, Karen has enjoyed the camaraderie of fellow painters while benefitting The Nature Conservancy, Friends of Santa Cruz Island, The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, The Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT), The Trust for Public Land and many others. She founded with Libby Tolley the San Luis Outdoor Painters Enterprise (SLOPE) to accomplish the same goals in San Luis Obispo County as the Oak Group does in Santa Barbara.

Awards include Artist Achievement Award 2003 California Mid-State Fair for “Fresh Start”; the Pete Johnston General Motors Award at The Color of Autumn 2003 Paso Robles Art Association for “Riding Home”. Also the Grand Prize and Best of Show $1000 Martin and Weyrich Winery Award October 2000 at the The Color of Autumn. The year 2000 a first place “Beach Mares” and an Artist Achievement Award “Dally” at the California Mid-State Fair. In addition to numerous other awards she received a bronze medal in the Art of California Discovery Awards.

Karen participates in several Oak Group exhibits every year, the SLO Cattlemen’s Art Show, SLO Farm Bureau Western Festival, The Paso Gathering, all in Paso Robles, California; and exhibits with the WAOW (Women Artists of the West) in several Western States. An exhibit of the culture of the Camargue will travel in 2005, including a multi-media presentaton by Lorraine Rawls.

Karen’s paintings reflect her love for horses, ranching and California’s central coast landscape. She is a member of the California Art Club and three local art associations in her community.

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© copyright Karen Foster-Wells 2001-2006