Ken Carlson says his passion for the outdoor world began while growing up in a small Minnesota river town. As a young boy, his nature experiences were limited to small creatures found in the nearby overgrown granite quarry, the surrounding fields, and along the riverbanks. His exposure to the world of art was through textbooks and magazines.
A critical element of Carlson’s work is first-hand observation. Every fall, he travels to Alaska, the Western prairies, or the Canadian Rockies to find his animal subjects when they are in full coat and prime physical condition.
In 1996, Collectors Covey of Dallas, Texas published From The Tundra To Texas: The Art Of Ken Carlson. Included are more than 100 paintings and sketches, with text provided by author Tom Davis, who described Carlson’s work as ‘an eloquent testimony to the fact he has transcended the boundaries of genre painting.’ In a 1999 publication by Collectors Covey titled Texas Brushstrokes, Carlson’s work is profiled with 12 of his major pieces.
In 2001, he was the recipient of the inaugural Major General and Mrs. Don Pittman Wildlife Award for exceptional artistic merit for a wildlife painting. Carlson was also the 1999 winner of the prestigious Frederic Remimngton Award for artistic merit.
His work is exhibited in the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Alberta; National Museum of Wildlife Art, Jackson, Wyoming; Genesee Country Museum, Mumford, New York; and the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin. His paintings have helped raise funds for conservation organizations.
Carlson has been profiled in Wildlife Art, Southwest Art, Art Of The West, Sporting Classics, Field and Stream and Sports Afield.” Prix de West, 2003 Invitiational Exhibition (publication), National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum.
Carlson and his wife, Mary Lea, make their home in the ruggedly beautiful Texas hill country.