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karen rolfe

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She uses oil paint as her medium and everything outdoors as her inspiration. Learn about this local artist and gallery owner making the city more colorful one painting at a time.


Karen Rolfes’ oil painting gallery is located in Madeira.

Cincy Chic: What inspires your oil paintings?
Karen Rolfes of Karen Rolfes Oil Paintings: Nature inspires my oil paintings! Flowers, trees, and water are my main themes. I like how the light reflects them. I can exaggerate the pigment of color and energy with my palette knife to make the painting interesting.

Cincy Chic: How long have you been painting?
Rolfes: I have been painting for 16 years. When I turned 40 I decided I wanted to paint and then I couldn’t stop and it lead into a business. But, most importantly, I truly love to paint.

Cincy Chic: Can you tell us more about your art background?
Rolfes: I’ve always been creative in different ways but was never formally educated to paint in school. My uncle, Robert Greiwe, and my grandfather, Gene Greiwe, painted so it must have been “in my blood.” I took fundamental classes from Greg Storer when I started and then I started going to workshops out of town. Learning from someone that I admire as an artist is so inspiring to me. If I can see something different that I take for granted each day I start growing in an unexpected way.

Rolfes gets much of her inspiration from nature.

Cincy Chic: Where can readers find your paintings?
Rolfes: I have a gallery/studio at 6808 Miami Avenue in Madeira. It is in a very old building which I think is unique since the exposed ceiling, original wood floors and original brick wall add character to a customer’s experience. Since I use a lot of color in my paintings it seems to radiate a happy place to be! I’m usually open Tuesday-Saturday 11-3 or by appointment.

Cincy Chic: Can you give us price points for your pieces?
Rolfes: Pricing is based on size. Small framed paintings framed range from $450. (8×10) to $1,300. Medium framed paintings range from $1,400 to $2,500. Large framed paintings range from $3,000. up to $15,500. (60×60).

Cincy Chic: Do you have any upcoming shows readers can check out?
Rolfes: I am currently in a show downtown at the YWCA. Ten paintings of mine are on display and for sale until June 15th. Part of the proceeds go to the YWCA. Giving back is very important to me. Sharing my passion is fulfilling in so many ways. Also, my gallery, Oil Paintings by Karen Rolfes, in Madeira, will be open Friday, June 16th, 5:00-8:00 for wine and cheese. RSVP to if you would like to come!

Cincy Chic: Where can readers go to learn more about you and your paintings?
Rolfes: My website,, has my biography, paintings for sale, and other information for readers to check out. I welcome anyone to call or email to chat about what they are looking for or to get my opinion in their particular space. I believe being a good listener is key. Developing a relationship with a client is critical to finding out someone’s needs. Being here at the gallery and working with people one on one is part of what is special about Oil Paintings By Karen Rolfes!