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The Way of the Mystic and Artist


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

“The way of the mystic and the way of the artist are very much alike, except the mystic does not have a craft. The craft holds the artist to the world, and the mystic goes through the psyche into the transcendent.” ~ Joseph Campbell. This is a quote “Goddess Artist” Karen Strecker incorporates into the spirit of all her “Goddess” creations. Karen shares, “I access my inner mystic and translate what I “see” into worldly form.” She has explored and studied art since she was a small child, always identifying with creative expression as an essential aspect of who she is.

Growing up in the “Land of Enchantment,” New Mexico, Karen incorporated the energy of the earth and sky, the seen and unseen, and a deep reverence for the “Universal Divine Force.” Karen reflects, “Where the stones hold the ancient stories and the stars witnessed the transcendental energy of those who came before.” Karen’s father, a gifted craftsman, taught her to sew, work with fiber, and express in metal and wood forms. This knowledge has carried forward into her Goddess creations today. Karen remembers beginning to draw when she was about nine years old. She began exploring the visual arts and growing in her enjoyment of artistic expression. In school, Karen took every art class she could, experimenting in a variety of media, discovering new and unique possibilities in creating beauty for her and others.

Karen eventually chose art as her minor in college, studying sculpture and painting at UCSB and Westmont College in California. As a young adult, she moved to New York to study fashion design. She worked for many years in the garment district, learning the facets of the business. Here, she found a perfect setting for creating beautiful items using her love of texture and color. However, it was becoming a mother that would cement her belief in the ‘Divine Creation’ of all things. During this time, she began her study of the healing properties of color, crystals, minerals, and ultimately started making jewelry combining design and healing in each piece. Guided by her deeply intuitive design sense and the knowledge of earth energy held in the stones, Karen launched her successful jewelry designing business.

The “Goddess” evolved over time as the culmination of Karen’s experiences and studies.  Karen turned her attention to the message that was coming through to create her “Goddess Art” and implemented her knowledge and skills to bring forth individual goddesses and their special messages into the world. Each Goddess begins with one element that intrigues Karen; sometimes it’s a stone, crystal, or a unique fabric design that calls forth the special message. Karen listens and follows intuitive instructions to message to life.

Meet a number of Karen’s Goddesses at On The Edge Gallery, in Scottsdale. Each one-of-a-kind piece that will dazzle you in their complexity and amaze you with their elegance of design. Karen is available for commissions, if you have a special Goddess tapping on your shoulder to take form in your life. Contact her by e-mail:

Contact arts columnist Shea Stanfield at