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Karen Leffel-Massengill knew at a very early age that she wanted to be an artist. Pencils and crayons were constant companions as a child as her family moved literally around the world. France, Germany, Turkey and Thailand were just a few of the many places where she grew up and drew creative inspiration.
Graduating from Florida State University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, Karen was sidetracked from her passion to work as an artist by marriage and raising three sons. As it often does, life lead her down a different path and she earned her associate’s degree in nursing in 1981. It wasn’t until her new husband’s sudden death in 1995 that she began to pursue her original childhood dreams of becoming a professional artist. She dove into the deep end of painting as a means of dealing with his death. The tragedy of his death was transformed into a positive step toward her career as a painter. Taking workshops from world-class artists such as Carl Dalio, Janet Rodgers, Jim Kosvanec, and many others, she grew and learned rapidly in her endeavors as an artist. She was the cover artist for the “Watercolor Magic” magazine for its summer issue in 1998. In 2000, she was accepted into the acclaimed international competition, Birds in Art, and in three subsequent years as well, in both watercolor and oil mediums. She was accepted into the nationally-ranked competition known as Arts for the Parks in 1998 with watercolor entries in both the top 100 and top 200 of this competition. She enjoys signature status with the Florida Watercolor Society and the Society of Animal Artists.
Leffel-Massengill has enjoyed immense success on the art show circuit, being accepted into many of the top art shows in the nation including Coconut Grove, Ann Arbor State Street Art Fair, Ann Arbor South University Art Fair, Winter Park Sidewalk Festival and Artigras. She has won numerous awards at these shows and has been selected as the poster artist for five different shows.
In 2018, Leffel-Massengill was awarded second place in the All Florida Show “Sweet” shown at the Elliott Museum in Stuart Florida, first place at the annual Backus Gallery competition for her piece titled “Double Vision” and as a national winner in the national competition sponsored by Plein Air Magazine in the bi-monthly “animal” category with her painting titled “Female Cow Bird.”