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Ken Carlson (born 1937) grew up aspiring to be an artist and took inspiration from the Wildlife artist Bob Kuhn. After winning an Art Scholarship at school, he studied at the Minneapolis School of Art and then joined a commercial art firm. Although commercial art was not his main professional focus, Carlson accepted a commission to illustrate for the publication Birds of Western North America. After two years on the project, he returned to painting animals in oils on large-scale canvases.

Today, Ken Carlson is widely recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of North American wildlife. A critical element of Carlson’s work is first-hand observation. Every Autumn, he travels to Alaska, the Western prairies, or the Canadian Rockies to find his wildlife subjects when they are in full coat and prime physical condition. His interest in animals and art combined and developed into a consuming lifelong career involving the study of animals in their environment.

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