Karie O'Donnell graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Illustration. She also studied architecture and graphic design at the New York Institute of Technology, illustration at Ohio University and photography with the University of Pittsburgh’s Semester at Sea. Karie is a Signature Member of the Society of Animal Artists and recently passed the Massachusetts State Exam to be a Wildlife Rehabilitator.
     Growing up in Florida, Karie was inspired by wildlife along the coast and at the Audubon shelter where she volunteered. Her current art studio overlooks the ocean in Brant Rock, Massachusetts, where she produces her oil paintings and graphite drawings. In addition to her work as an artist, Karie teaches children at her “Budding Artist Studio” and enjoys the seashore with her children, Sarah and Henry.
Artist Statement
     I have been in love with the ethereal beauty of birds for as long as I can remember. My grandmother’s influence is evident in my young journals and letters home while staying with her every summer. With each word and sketch, I focused on the local wildlife surrounding her woodland Carolina home. Her Audubon books and Peterson bird guides held my fascination as I strived to accurately capture bird’s images and personalities on paper. 
     From high school through college, I studied Architecture, Graphic Design, Photography, and Illustration. While working in these fields throughout my adult career, I always found time to draw birds. Local competitions and meeting other fine artists in my area became a great inspiration. I’ve also held an enduring admiration for artists such as Vermeer, Sargent, Bateman and the Wyeths. Their works fueled my ambition to become an oil painter in 2012.
     Soon after, I discovered The Society of Animal Artists (SAA), here I found an awe inspiring, talented wildlife arts community. They are an incredible source of motivation and encouragement with both my graphite and oil work. By embracing the two mediums, I have found that each compliments and advances the other. Remarkably, SAA awarded me with their Education Grant allowing me to continue my studies in oil with Laura Jennings and over the summer of 2016 with James Coe. 
     Drawing and painting birds is my passion. I adore every part of the journey - photographing, sketching and studying them. I relish capturing a bird’s feathery details otherwise unnoticed in passing with my drawings and then using color to create his vibrant environment with my oils. The ultimate challenge is to bring a bird to life under my pencil or brush. It’s rewarding when others see my work and feel a connection to nature and themselves.
     My interest in the environment and our birds’ dwindling biodiversity has been a constant concern  to me. Books in my collection are The Lost Bird Project, The Beak of the Finch, Their Fate is our Fate, Hope is the Thing with Feathers and Half Earth. I feel that expressing my love for wildlife and nature’s beauty through my art along with discussing issues of climate change can help bring awareness to the human impact on our world’s environment.