Ken Carlson was born in the small river town of Morton, Minnesota, and that is where his passion for the outdoor world began. Following art school training, he embarked on a career as a commercial illustrator. During this time, Carlson continued sketching, painting, photographing, and researching his primary interest: wildlife and nature subjects. In 1966, he moved to San Francisco, where he spent several more years as a freelance illustrator before devoting himself full time to painting wildlife subjects.
Carlson’s devotion to portraying animals has grown into a consuming lifelong vocation studying animals and developing a painting technique distinctly his own. Each fall, he travels to Alaska, the Rocky Mountains, the western prairies, or Tanzania to observe his animal subjects in their varied habitat.
As a participant in the Prix de WestInvitational Art Exhibition, Carlson has received the Frederick Remington Award for artistic merit and has twice been the recipient of the Pittman Wildlife Award. He had a one-man retrospective at the Steamboat Art Museum in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and was a participant in The Best of the Best Contemporary Wildlife Art Exhibition at the Woolaroc Museum in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. His work is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, Wyoming, the Genesee Country Museum in Mumford, New York, and the Tacoma Art Museum in Tacoma, Washington.