Ken Carlson2013 Artist
2013 Artwork for Sale
About the Artist
Ken Carlson was born and raised in Minnesota and now resides in the hill country of Central Texas. A critical element of his work is first-hand observation. Each fall, he travels to Alaska, the Western prairies, the Canadian Rockies, or to Africa to study his animal subjects in their varied habitat. At the 2001 and 2004 Prix de West Invitational Art Exhibition and Sale, he was the recipient of the Major General and Mrs. Don Pittman Wildlife Award for exceptional artistic merit. At the 2008 Masters of the American West, he was the recipient of the first Bob Kuhn Wildlife Award. In 2009 - 2010, he had a one-man exhibition at the Steamboat Art Museum in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
What artist inspires you? Why?
Obviously, Carl Rungius and Bob Kuhn were my first inspirations and continue to be since my chosen subject has always been animals. Artists such as Sargent and Sorolla inspire me because of the quality of painting technique, style, and approach in design. Also along the way, abstract art and certain abstract artists such as Franz Kline impress me with use of bold shapes and brushwork. Regardless of subject matter, style or form, studying fine pieces of art motivate me to stretch beyond each previous painting.
How do you come up with an idea for a new piece of artwork?
Ideas for paintings come from spending as much time as possible in the field observing animals and habitat. It may be the animal in a certain light or pose and it may be the dramatic light or alluring colors of the habitat that inspire a painting. It can be ordinary settings and animals that trigger a painting idea.
Where is the most inspirational place you've visited lately?
Last year for my birthday, Mary Lea and I went to Paris. It is a beautiful city that overwhelms with sculpture, paintings, and architecture. After a morning visit to the Musee de l'Orangerie to see the Claude Monet water lily murals, the afternoon was spent in Giverny at Monet's home and gardens. It was inspirational to see the source of Monet's interpretation of light, reflections, colors, textures-all the elements that come together in the murals.