Originally from Chicago, Ken Karlic's earliest memories are of drawing, but it wasn't until he began to travel in his mid 20s that he began painting in watercolors. This began a three decades long refinement of his techniques, which continues today. Ken is a national award-winning artist, and paints in a style he refers to as sophisticated chaos. He paints with a sense of urgency, and passion, that is more about capturing the essence of a subject, rather than the specifics of any location. He is interested in expressing how something feels rather than how it looks, and in the sheer physicality of a subject captured in the sheer physicality of the paint. 

Ken’s paintings have a basis in the representational, but often dissolve into varying levels of abstraction. No two paintings develop in the same way, as surprises are not only welcomed — but also invited — as marks, scratches, drips, and splatters all become part of the final piece. On location or in the studio, he enjoys the contrast of painting quickly, while creating a piece to be experienced slowly.

Ken Karlic exhibits regularly, participates in invitational and juried plein air competitions, and is represented by several galleries from Maryland to New York. Ken has recently been featured in the September, 2017, issue of the international magazine, The Art of Watercolour, published in France, and the October/November, 2017, issue of Plein Air Magazine. He has also written a step-by-step article for Daniel Smith Art Materials, on the creation of his 36 x 72 inch mammoth painting, GAF on Ponca, distributed to their global community of professional artists, retailers, and distributors.

Ken Karlic studied architecture, painting, and graphic design at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, where he received a B.F.A. Ken is a founding partner of the graphic design firm, Splice Design Group, in Baltimore, Maryland, with clients including the Guggenheim Foundation and Smithsonian Institution. He is an instructor at Chesapeake Fine Art Studio in Stevensville, Maryland, and teaches workshops regionally, and beyond. Ken is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Plein-Air Painters Association (MAPAPA), a Signature Artist Member of Baltimore Watercolor Society, and a Signature Artist Member of Noyes Museum of Art at Stockton University in New Jersey.


Father and Son and Their El Camino, photograph by the amazing Christopher Myers Photography