​​After more than 25 years in a marketing career in the corporate world, and the last five in my own marketing consulting business, I picked up a paintbrush at a "wine and paint" party and resumed my love of painting with acrylics on canvas. My Dad, a talented and accomplished woodcarver and painter now in his 80's,, inspired me to continue, and then gave me his old wood easel, art supplies and a few vintage art instruction books.

For more than two years, I studied art technique with a well-known professional artist/teacher, Stephen Lursen, to improve my proficiency and skills. I have been an active member of the Huntersville, NC Open Art Studio since 2013, which provides a weekly collaborative painting environment with fellow artists.

I started Haute Dauge Portraits after attending a life-changing weekend workshop hosted by Oprah Winfrey, called "The Life You Want".

​My artistic goal is to create treasured heirlooms; highly detailed, heartfelt and realistic portrayals of beloved pets, including those who have crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

I hand-draw and hand-paint with professional-grade acrylic paint on 1-1/2" thick archival-quality gallery-wrapped canvas. I work from provided photographs and talk extensively with my clients to learn about the pet’s unique personality, quirks and behavior, and translate that playful gleam in her eye or his calm and quiet demeanor into my painting.

I love adding signature accents like painting all four edges to continue the painting (and sometimes the animal), using metallic paints, creating personalized nametags on collars and matching the background colors and patterns with clients’ home or office decor.

I've painted dogs, cats and horses that live in California, North and South Carolina, New Jersey, Kentucky, as well as in Austria, England and Germany. No matter where they live, there are beautiful pets everywhere.

​I also am developng as an Expressionist artist with highly colorful paintings of stylized horses running in Arizona and Southwest landscapes.

I’ve lived in the Charlotte, NC metro area for more than 27 years and in the Lake Norman area since 2003, and am originally from New Jersey. I am married with one adult daughter, three adult stepchildren and our rescued ShihTzu named Little Miss Macie.

In March 2016, my business was honored with the Lake Norman Citizen's Choice Award for "Most Creative Name". How exciting! Please read the article here:

​Lake Norman Citizen

In late 2014 and early 2015, Haute Dauge Portraits was featured in articles in two local newspapers. Please read the articles here:

Herald Weekly article                                   
Charlotte Observer article

I look forward to working with you to create a treasured heirloom portrait of your beloved pet.

Karen L. Dortschy

My license tag says "HVINFUN". Yep, I am.

My wonderful parents, Florence and Martin Rosenthal,, with me. I was inspired to paint by my Dad, who is an incredibly talented woodcarver and painter. He has created more than 200 works of art since discovering his talent 30 years ago..

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.”Anatole France

About Karen L. Dortschy

Upscale & custom art of your beloved pet, hand-drawn & hand-painted.

While most of my works are in private collections,

you can see several in public places:

  • Lake Norman Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Cornelius, NC - main lobby​
  • Main Street Veterinary Hospital, Cornelius, NC - main lobby
  • Pet Pilgrimage, Mooresville, NC - reception room

My art studio is filled with natural light, and includes some of my favorite belongings (and a wonderful red wall).

RIP Cody the Rocket

My beloved Border Collie crossed the Rainbow Bridge on June 15, 2017.

He was 11 years old, knew more than 30 tricks, was an AKC Canine Good Citizen

 and was an awesome dog.

© All rights reserved


Community Involvement

​​WSIC 100.7 FM/1400 AM/TV 21.2, Statesville, NC - "Around the Lake" Weekly Show Co-Host.

The Mooresville Arts, Mooresville, NC - Member

HeARTS Speak  (national non-profit organization focusing on Artists Helping Animals). As an Ambassador, I donate a percentage of all sales to local animal rescues and non-profit shelters.  

Lake Norman Humane
(non-profit no-kill animal shelter and rescue organization), Mooresville, NC - Social Media Advisor.

PuppyUp(national non-profit organization focusing on canine cancer), Lake Norman, NC - Donate portraits for silent auction fundraisers and lead walking teams..

Give Back Boutique (non-profit consignment store), Mooresville, NC - Social Media Advisor and Personal Shopping Stylist.

Mooresville Chamber of Commerce, Mooresville, NC -Marketing Committee Member.

Huntersville Chamber of Commerce, Huntersville, NC - Member.

WSIC 100.7 FM/1400 AM/TV 21.2, Radio and TV station, Statesville, NC - "Around the Lake" Weekly Show Co-Host.

Toastmasters International (international public speaking and leadership organization) - Member, 2008 - 2016