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Opening November 13th
Plein Ayuh: The Creative Realism of Ken Carlson


023 - CopyThe blank page offers a challenge to Ken Carlson and faced with the challenge, Ken is determined to have fun. Just as a jazz performer creates fresh melody over a repeating cycle of chord changes, Ken takes a familiar landscape and offers something surprising.


Familiar scenes of Gardiner become less familiar and more wondrous in the hands of Ken Carlson. His experience as an illustrator and cartoonist has had an impact on Ken Carlson’s painting style. Often working plein air, he frees himself to play with a landscape he is familiar with- adding elements, skewing perspective, tilting structures. Ken imbues buildings and landscapes with character. Whether it is a feed store bowing under the weight of its years or a new gazebo tilting toward a nearby sculpture, you can sense these structures have feelings.


Ken drew editorial cartoons for the Kennebec Journal from 1985-2002. He enjoyed watercolor color painting off and on over the years. Or so he thought, “I took my first workshop with Tony van Hasselt, then the fun began and I started painting Plein Air, or as I like to say, “Plein Ayuh.”