hi there! thanks for stopping by

a 'den' is a secluded room in a house that is quiet, comfortable

and suited for the pursuit of creative activities


Karen is a mother of two and works part-time in the cultural heritage sector in the field of art conservation. She always loved to draw and paint but did not start working as a professional artist and illustrator with her company Paper Den until 2016. She only works by hand, utilising her preferred media watercolour, ink, gouache, pens, pencils, on their own or in combination to produce her work.


Growing up in Perth, Western Australia, Karen eventually emigrated to Rotterdam, The Netherlands, where she has spent the majority of her adult life. Despite now having Dutch citizenship, she is still very much influenced by the flora and fauna of Australia; a subject matter often explored in her work. Karen’s illustrative style is bold, textural and colourful and at times, incorporates intricate linework. She also enjoys making abstract artworks that examine the effects of watercolour and ink on paper and the surfaces of various substrates.


In addition to her freelance practice, Karen also holds online and in-person illustration workshops and courses. She teaches at the Royal Talens Experience Centre in Apeldoorn and also makes step-by-step instructional blogs for the Royal Talens website.


Vibrant Gouache Pet Portrait



Profile photos by Froukje Klop.


A short video (in Dutch) was made by the Swan Market about Karen and Paper Den in the Spring of 2017. Have a look here.