Shore Mural by Karen Carr

Shown: Black abalone, Ashy storm petrel, Bald eagle, Acorn barnacles, Gooseneck barnacles, Brandts cormorants, California mussels, Cassins aucklet, Gumboot chiton, Mossy chiton, Aggregate anemones, Green giant anemone, Hermit crab, Sand crabs, Striped shoreline crab, Green red and brown algae, Monkey faced prickleback, Oystercatcher, Opaleye perch, Periwinkles, Saltgrass, Harbor seals, Olivella snail, Ochre stars, Surf grass, Purple sea urchins
Geologic period: Modern


Shore Mural

Due to their relative isolation and protection, the tidepools in Channel Islands National Park are some of the best within southern California. Anemones, sea stars, urchins, limpets, periwinkles, chitons, barnacles, mussels, and many other beautiful species can be seen at numerous pristine tidepool sites. The most accessible sites include: Frenchy's Cove on Anacapa Island; Smuggler's Cove on Santa Cruz Island; Becher's Bay at the pier, Southeast Anchorage, East Point on Santa Rosa Island; eastern end of Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel Island.

The area between the land and the sea is not distinct, but is a zone of transition. This area may be covered with water during high tide or exposed to sunlight during low tide. Life in this intertidal region must be the hardiest within the marine environment-able to withstand hours of exposure and the incessant pounding of the energy-filled surf.

Intertidal life has adapted to the sea and the land. When looking at a tidepool area, notice how plants and animals may be found in certain areas and not in others. Those living in the upper splash zone are tolerant to sunlight, heat, and water loss and have either a means to "shelter" themselves or the ability to move into an area of greater moisture. An animal with a tightly closed shell or a shell firmly attached to rock will hold water within, so that it does not require water surrounding it at all times. Animals found in rock crevices and submerged pools usually require more moisture to prevent them from drying out.

Other samples of work for Channel Islands National Park:

Client information:

Channel Islands National Park
1901 Spinnaker Drive
Ventura, CA 93001

Karen in the classroom


— As a guest speaker or lecturer

In addition to the time she spends painting, Karen finds time now and again to serve as a guest speaker, lecturer and instructor to museum groups, professional organizations, schools and universities. She has also presented master classes in art and digital painting at universities in the U.S.

Karen has delivered recent presentations for these institutions and groups:

  • Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
  • Southern Methodist University
  • Guild of Natural Science Illustrators at the College of William & Mary and at Montana State University
  • New Mexico Highlands University
  • University of Texas at Arlington
  • University of North Texas
  • Dallas Paleontological Society


About Karen

Originally trained in the classical techniques of illustration and painting, Karen frequently speaks on the transition to a digital world, and on the challenges and benefits this transition poses for artists, clients and viewers. She conducts professional seminars on painting, illustration and digital image creation, and also offers specific programs tailored to the needs of professional groups or classroom instructors.

To contact Karen about a speaking engagement, just drop her a note or call her studio.

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