Karen Leoni is a Northern California artist who has a passion for painting and drawing. She is focused on figures and animals in the landscape, often preparing by painting small studies outdoors in the plein air style. She believes that the studies improve the larger, more finished pieces by enabling her to capture and recreate more accurate color and atmosphere. It also develops her “artist memory” when racing the clock and observing the changes in light that only occur when painting plein air. Leoni is an instructor at Academy of Art in the Foundations Department and is a member of the Oil Painters of America and the California Art Club. She states: “I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to live in an area where I am surrounded by the magnificent landscape with its endless variety. Painting allows me to closely examine nature and notice things everyday that otherwise would have passed me by. Time slows down when you paint or sketch. It’s magical.” Her work is represented in galleries in California, New York and Florida as well as in private collections across the U.S. and in Italy.