Karen Klee-Atlin was born in Toronto, where she studied at the Ontario College of Art. She did graduate work in painting and printmaking and received her MFA in painting from the University of Calgary. She has lived in many parts of Canada and the US as well as in Peru, the Philippines and Mexico, teaching art in schools and universities as well as pursuing her own studio work.
Much of her life has been spent overseas and these periods of time have contributed richly to her work. Karen gathers images from a range of sources, including folk religious sculpture, industrial training manuals, and scarecrows, and renders them in woodcuts, acrylic, and oil. She has shown her work internationally, and her images can be found as the covers of two plays, Bone Cage and It Is Solved By Walking, by Canadian playwright and two-time Governor-General`s Award winner, Catherine Banks.