About the Artist

karen photoKaren Lee is a native New Englander who has made Door County, WI her home. Karen Lee spent 20 plus years in the graphic arts business working with museums, publishers and artists. Film and ink key manipulation fine tuned her sense of color and value interplay.

Karen Lee is known for her commissioned paintings with a strong emphasis on maritime art and landscape.

Karen Lee feels “a passion is a gift that demands you to embrace it if you are to find your authenticity and inner joy/peace.” Door County fuels that passion with its natural beauty. The creativity and synergistic energy on the peninsula is seductive and inspiring.” Karen Lee uses oils or pastels to fill her canvases and supports with energy, spirit, boldness, and motion. Boundaries or self imposed limitations are what she struggles against. Karen Lee wants to make a flat surface awaken a warm place in the viewer’s heart, positiveness! Karen Lee’s palette is most often vibrant and soft mood. Her art is characterized semi-realism, representational, with a strong impressionistic pull. As an artist Karen Lee is always evolving, always searching to tell a story and lucky enough to be able to record it. The interaction of line, color, value, texture, shape, temperature, and intensity fill her canvas.

Karen Lee DeNoto’s Maritime oil paintings hung at the Ministry Door County Medical Center (the hospital) on the second floor of the new wing.

Affiliations & Memberships

Karen is an active member in the Door County Art League, Waters Edge Artists 2015, Lakeshore Natural Resources Partnership, INC 2009-2012, and numerous plein air painting,  critique groups and numerous commissions.


  • Rahr-West Museum-Manitowoc, WI -Juried Show – 2013
  • Wisconsin Arts Gallery, Green Bay, WI
  • 2009, 2010, and 2012 Lakeshore Waterways Plein Air Calendar and Exhibition (juried exhibition for calendar acceptance)
  • Plymouth Art Museum-Gallery 110-Plymouth, WI
  • Door County Maritime Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • The William Fairfield Public Gallery Foundation
  • The Bridge, KIK, Door County Auditorium-Link Gallery
  • The Hardy Gallery * Peninsula School of Art
  • Stone Harbor, Dal Santo’s Sturgeon Bay
  • Tutto Béne, Indiana, Greco Gallery, Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Miller Art Museum, Sturgeon Bay, WI (juried)
  • Washington Island Art and Nature Center, Door County, Wisconsin
  • Red Cup, Washington Island, Door County, WI
  • Birch Creek-Music Performance Center Egg Harbor, WI


Instructor Washington Island Art Association, Door County, WI 2012
Guest Speaker Celebrate the Arts Sevastopol, WI 2013
Guest Speaker Career Day Door/Kewaunee students 2013