Carl was born near Antwerp, Belgium, in 1937. He has been drawing for as long as he can remember, and natural history was also an early interest of his. Carl enrolled at the Academy of Decorative Arts in Berchem, and then went on to the Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. After this, he went on to work as an illustrator, before taking the plunge and going freelance.
During his early career, he took whatever work was available, including doing pen drawings for comics. His big break came with the offer to work on a series of books on endangered species. He also began to sell his original artwork at this time. Carl exhibited his art in galleries in Europe. Christiane Thorn Katcham, a member of an old aristocratic Belgium family, noticed Carl’s paintings at a gallery and urged him to sell his work in America. She was convinced that it would sell well there. Carl agreed and they organized an exhibition at the prestigious Trailside Galleries, in Wyoming. The exhibition was a great success, and led to his work being seen by Bob Lewin of Mill Pond Press. Since 1984, Mill Pond has published over 190 of Carl’s limited edition prints. They unfortunately closed in 2014, and it is now Greenwich Workshop who publishes his work, mostly on canvas.
To achieve his incredibly detailed work, Carl spends many hours in the field observing nature and taking countless photographs. In 2002, the Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, WI granted him the Master Wildlife Artist Award, in recognition of his outstanding achievement for using bird imagery in his artwork. These days, Carl and his wife divide their time between work at their home in Belgium, trips in Europe and traveling to America once a year for fieldwork and to attend the famous Birds in Artr event in Wisconsin each September. Carl hopes his paintings will help spread an awareness of the importance of caring for the environment.
Click on the images below to view Carl Brenders's artwork available for sale at this year's show.
Brahma Chickens Sketch
Full Curl Bighorn Study
Grizzly Sow with Two Cubs #2
When traveling on the narrow, rural roads of France, one can be surprised to discover so much unexpected beauty.
In the stables of a stunning castle, where horses were plentiful, I all of the sudden encountered several chickens of a species that I had never seen before. They were very large, probably standing 2.5 feet high, and their legs were covered with feathers resembling down trousers. I was thrilled by the color combination of the straw, the stalls, and the chickens on the old cobblestone floor.
This time the painting inspiration came, not from a wild animal, but a domestic one. I later learned that the name of this intriguing species is “Brahma”.
“Sometimes I am in the mood to just paint a big cat’s head to enjoy the real feline expression. Such a painting can be smaller since the head of a cat is full in the image. Details in the background are not necessary now, and an out-of-focus effect brings the cat closer to the viewer.”