Karl Musgrove - Artist Interview

March 2021

 

Karl's journey is an inspiration to all of us. He’s showing us

that nothing is impossible!

  

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Karl was born and raised on a cattle ranch in Montana. When Karl was sixteen he and his family moved to Upper Cache Creek, near Fort St. John in the beautiful Peace River country, where he and his wife, Ann continue to ranch with their sons.. 

As a young boy, Karl was always drawing or painting something and he showed a natural aptitude for colour, shape, and composition. He sold his first piece of art when he was 5 years old!  He honed his skills in the evenings, along with his siblings, at their parent’s sides. His dad loved encouraging and drawing with him. 

In his late teens, Karl completed a correspondence course through the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis, but has had no other training. After a few years of pursuing the arts, he stopped painting regularly to focus working on his ranch in Upper Cache Creek.

Karl retired early from ranching due to a large stroke which left him partially blind in both eyes, paralyzed his dominant right side, and caused a loss of speech. With a lot of effort and passion Karl switched to painting with his left hand and continues to do artwork on a daily basis. He still lives on the ranch and is greatly encouraged and supported by his family.

After Karl suffered the stroke in his mid-50s, he relearned how to paint using his left hand and these days is back to creating artwork on a daily basis. Nowadays, due to partial blindness, Karl paints from a lifetime of memories Because of that, his art has evolved into an representative style.   

After Karl studied art through the Art Instruction School of Minneapolis he had the foundation to try other artistic mediums. In the past he has modeled with clay and carved in moose antlers and wood. He continues to work with pencil and pastel and enjoys doing cartoons. Today, he mostly works with oils on canvas.

Karl has always painted ranch life, wildlife and rugged landscapes of the American Midwest and the Peace Region, because those have been the things he's known. His art focuses on depicting memories of those candid moments expressed in a beautiful palette of colours.

 

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Upended! by Karl Musgrove

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Rogue Cow by Karl Musgrove

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The Sheep Wagon by Karl Musgrove

 

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Breeding Season by Karl Musgrove

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Northern Transportation by Karl Musgrove

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Threat by Karl Musgrove

 Ann says Karl is “lost to the world” when he paints and feels painting has contributed significantly in his rehabilitation."If he didn't have his art, I don't know what he'd be doing now," she said.

For Karl, his stroke was an opportunity to retire and devote his time to painting. Creating art has always been a passion for Karl. Eight months after his stroke, he was able to start painting again and since then has spent up to six hours a day creating his art. Karl regularly exhibits his work and has received many recognitions over the years including placing in PRFCA juried chapter shows. He has held successful solo exhibits as well.

Karl’s story is astonishing! I think we can ask ourselves this question; ‘How does Karl’s story inspire you to be the best artist you can be?”  Creating art, especially from your memories is hard! I am in awe of his perseverance and that nothing has stopped him. He continues to paint and make art.

Karl's journey is an inspiration to all of us. He’s showing us that nothing is impossible. He persevered.