David Fink considers himself one of the luckiest men on earth. That’s especially true at night when he turns off the overhead lights and turns small spotlights on low to highlight his 13-piece collection of wildlife portraits painted by Ken Carlson. “They just come alive,” he says. “It’s a grand collection.”
It is indeed. The result of a commission that took two years to complete, it consists of 12 10” by 13” paintings and one 16” by 13” of a wolf that serves as a centerpiece to the others. Those paintings are a source of amazement and joy for Fink. “What’s better than to look at a wall of paintings by the master, the maestro,” he says.
Fink, a retired teacher and coach who lives in Michigan, had purchased three paintings by Carlson before he had met the artist. His love of the West, however, had taken root during summer vacations as he and one of his sons went fly fishing and sightseeing in Colorado and Wyoming. “It was,” he says, “like the call of the wild. We went fly fishing and sightseeing, and I collected cowboy gear.” (His other son, he adds, is autistic and could not accompany them on those trips.)
16” by 13”
“It was Dave’s decision to use the wolf portrait as the center piece of the groupings. Dave had definite ideas of which animals he wanted painted. He started with a list of six, and as he kept adding to it he saved the wolf as the final piece. This is a wolf with typical colors, markings, and an intense stare that draws you into the wall of portraits.”
Great Egrets in Mangroves
20” by 31”
“My introduction to mangrove trees was on Sanibel Island on the gulf side of the south Florida coast. During a research trip to the Ding Darling National Wildlife Reserve on the island, I found it a haven for numerous bird species. I enjoy painting the larger birds such as the great egret, and being a white bird added a challenge. The mangrove trees and their tangled roots provided the textbook natural setting.”