After a career giving advice and inspecting the works of others, Karen Hauptman enjoys pursuing her own ideas.
“I have many interests,” said Karen. “I would guess out of all of my hobbies that I prefer painting in oils as my number one hobby. I especially love to paint landscapes. I have in the past entered a painting in the Osceola County Silver Spurs Rodeo and Fair. I won second place.” For references Karen may uses her own photos or her imagination. She has also painted on windows, concrete, and walls.
For her grandchildren Karen painted murals on their bedroom walls. For the girls she painted a mural of Smurfs in a Smurf village or Winks girls. For the boys she painted a jungle scene of monkeys and lions, and when they were born, a Noah’s ark mural with all the animals.
“I have taken a few classes from different instructors in the past. One was in Saint Cloud, Florida and one in Kissimmee, Florida. They were just classes that were offered by individuals offering to teach a class on their techniques.”
Karen does most of her painting in her home studio. “I work alone,” she explains. “But I do enjoy showing and explaining things to people. I don’t believe in keeping secretes on techniques to myself. I give most of my paintings away as gifts.”
“I think I was born with this interest, but I guess it really took hold when I started elementary school. I used to get into trouble as a kid for using materials in the garage that were meant for other things.” As a child, Karen even made a go-cart from scrap lumber and an old lawn mower engine.
Karen was next to the youngest in a family of four brothers and three sisters. The oldest was a 17-year-old girl when Karen arrived. “I was born in Latrobe Pennsylvania. My Father worked in the coal mines. The mine closed when I was around 4 years old and we moved to Cleveland Ohio. My father was employed by a trucking company there. From there we moved to Aurora East in Streetsboro Ohio. I lived there until I was 15 and we moved back to Pennsylvania and bought a 101-acre farm. I soon found out that raising beef cattle and hogs and slaughtering and all the work that went with living and working on a farm was not the future I wanted. I lived there until I graduated from high school and married my now husband, Joseph.” They’ve now been married for almost 50 years, have one daughter and six grand-children.
During her working years, Karen worked for several plastics companies. Her most interesting job was for 20 years as a quality control supervisor at Custom Plastics in Kissimmee, Florida. Along with useful items, the company made many Disney projects.
Two years ago, Karen moved with Joe to Tanglewood.
“My husband and myself chose Tanglewood to live in for several reasons. The most important being that the homes and the common areas were well maintained. The amenities were great. Tanglewood seemed like a place that we would be happy and a safe place to retire. Sebring was small enough that it was easy to get around. Had a good hospital and medical doctors. stores, and restaurants.”
It was a surprise to go up Carefree Parkway and find an elaborate mural of a humming bird on Karen’s driveway. She explains, “The hummingbird design took me about a week to draw and paint it on the driveway. It probably would not have taken that long to finish, (but) I can no longer kneel or get down on the ground because of joint issues. I enjoy painting so much that I was not going to let this stop me. I came up with the idea of converting a furniture mover into a rolling seat. This made it possible for me to do this project.”
To plan the center, Karen tried several designs with paint brush markers on large pieces of white card board. First she painted the driveway with outdoor acrylic UV-resistant paint for concrete. Then she transferred her favorite design to the center. After completing the painting, she put 2 coats of epoxy sealer with a UV additive on the entire driveway, which helps guard against fading and hot tire damage.
Karen then painted a smaller hummingbird design on the concrete leading to her sun room.
Karen would like to add, “I have not had any formal training on any craft or hobby or task that I have under taken. I do a lot of research on any project that I plan to do. As far as painting with oils and other mediums a lot of it is by trial and error. I don’t really know how to explain my knowledge on doing things. I guess I was just born with the aptitude and the drive to figure it out and an imagination that is endless.”
Karen has many interests other than painting. In the past she has fixed lawn mowers, upholstered furniture and, with her husband, built and remodeled houses. In Tanglewood she plans to explore the Wood and Glass shops, and, of course, the swimming pool.
You may contact Karen writing to email@example.com.