Back in 1992 my MS became Secondary Progressive and led to my early retirement. I left my career as an executive consultant. I used to help many firms learn how the ‘newer’ (but before the internet) computer systems could streamline their busienss processes.

My career had NOTHING to do with art. I was not a person who had always done some form or art, not as a child, not in high school, or ever.

Luckily I have a very good friend who is a real ‘Bucks County artist’. She took me aside one day and said, “You cannot sit home and just watch the daytime soap operas! Come to my weekly art gatherings and just be among us friends and struggling artist wanna-bes.”

She give me the book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards.

Another thing to know about me: I love to learn, I’m obsessive about it and if I find a good teacher, I’ll do what they tell me. So I read the book and I did all the exercises!

I kept attending her classes. There I tried pastels and water colors. They were either too messy or too unforgiving, so I wasn’t happy. She suggested I try her oil paints.

Well, once I found that I could change an apple into an orange, I was home! I kept up in her classes. We began to hold shows in her studio. Then we had shows at several restaurants in the New Hope, PA area. We did many festivals. My paintings began to sell.

She nominated me for and I received a USArtists Special Needs scholarship to PENNSYLVANIA ACADEMY OF THE FINE ARTS in 1998-99. That grant allowed to take four continuing ed courses. I chose to take Still Life, Drawing, Color, and Portrait from their very fine instructors.

I was then blessed to have an opportunity to study privately with Frank Arcuri of the Art Student’s League. There I learned a great deal about doing realistic still life painting following the methods of David A. Leffel. Other artist I follow have included Gregg Kruetz, and Joe Anna Arnette.

During the late 1990s I was represented by the Lambertville Gallery of Fine Art. Her works appeared in many juried shows. These included shows at the Philadelphia Sketch Club 1997. 1998, & 1999, Small Oil Paintings and The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts 1999, Tinicum, New Hope, and Doylestown Art Leagues, Main Line and Abington Art Centers.

My husband’s Alzheimer’s required me to take care of him since 2012. He passed in 2020. Shortly thereafter, I returned to my artwork.

Press –Doylestown Intelligencer — Brushing MS Aside

Karlene Ellsworth brings botanical insight and fascination with how light brings excitement to the worlds she creates in her original oil still life paintings. The magic of art enables her to break free from the bonds of her Multiple Sclerosis. Her spirituality shows through the medium of oil paint.

The passion expressed in her work invites us to follow her explorations of form, color, and movement across the canvas. Her paintings combine painterly joy and an impressionistic spontaneity with the formal disciplines of managing space and illusion through chiaroscuro and attention to representational form.

For more information contact me