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Karen Long

Featured Article

Queen Creek Art Lovers

Three local artisans showcase their passion.

Few people can probably explain why they are drawn to a particular pursuit or passion. They only know that the love for their art form is there. If you happen to attend the regular farmer's markets in town you will see booth after booth of people sharing their crafts.  Each artist applies a careful eye and a steady hand to produce an original and genuine work of art. These can be expressions of an appreciation for desert sunsets, the inherent beauty found in the grain of wood, or even making something as simple as concrete come alive with color and purpose. Each artist, working with their hands, is driven to share that passion that brings them joy and maybe even helps you capture a bit of that for yourself.

Desert Mandalas by Karen Long

Karen Long is an independent artist who discovered her love for mandala art shortly after moving from Seattle, Washington to Queen Creek, Arizona. She was inspired by the beautiful sunsets, red earth and the array of colors that make up the desert climate. She soon found herself using these colors in the layered, circular patterns that became her craft, Desert Mandalas. Karen creates each unique piece as a meditation and as a silent symbol of the universe in its ideal form. She creates and shares this art in hopes that it will help fellow meditators contemplate and envision their journey from suffering toward inner peace and joy. For custom pieces, you can contact her directly at

Roadrunner Woodworking by Jason Specht

Jason Specht is the owner and operator of Roadrunner Woodworking. He has lived in Queen Creek since 2018 and started the company at the beginning of 2020, but he has had a fascination with building and creating since he was young. He began focusing mostly on woodworking after helping some friends build projects around their homes and realizing his passion. So he started a business where he could explore his creativity and do something he enjoyed. Roadrunner is a family affair with his girlfriend assisting in creative direction. Roadrunner Woodworking focuses on handcrafted, small everyday-use items, ranging from cutting boards and charcuterie boards to bottle openers and serving trays, with some occasional commissions. He uses domestic hardwoods like walnut, ash, and cherry, but also some exotic woods like purple heart, padauk, and yellow heart for color. His work can be seen on his Instagram - @roadrunnerwoodworking.

Merilee Imagined

Merilee Pike's love for plants grew into a desire for more unique and colorful planters. Since then her work has evolved into so much more. From home décor, to kid's painting kits and fire pits, and a zero waste concept utilizing the excess concrete from pours to make one-of-a-kind creations. Even her two little girls (3 & 6) also enjoy getting involved and helping with new color combos, putting peanuts in the boxes and learning to care for their own plants. Her work can be found on Etsy, at The Collective in Chandler Mall and the Painted Tree Boutique in Scottsdale. You can also find her work on her Instagram @merileeimagined.

  • Karen Long
  • Jason Specht
  • Merilee Pike