Karen Nelson's rosemaling journey started in Stoughton, Wisconsin, where she was born to a Norwegian father and a Swiss mother. She moved to California as a child, but many Norwegian traditions were taught and rosemaling was always a decoration in her home. She always wanted to learn to paint rosemaling and discovered Vesterheim Museum in 1998 when she decided to take up a hobby. The rest, as they say, is history. She has studied with with American and Norwegian teachers and is a Vesterheim Gold Medalist.