As an artist, I am interested in painting the contrast between the geometric shapes created by man and the free-form masses created in nature. In so doing, I try to show how nature evolves and matures while the static objects of man ever so slowly decline.
Beginning with a sketch, Carl Forslund pares down his subject matter, allowing it to wander until he finds his direction. His completed pastels shift between representational and abstract renderings, shimmering with unexpected color and softly surging with flowing marks. Often depicting lush landscapes, he composes a setting which seems familiar yet otherworldly in its beauty. He draws attention to the complexity of our surroundings in his representation of natural elements through loose, organic lines, and the straight, worn edges of human construction.
Forslund has spent decades combining color and form to create images celebrating both the natural and manmade worlds. Originally a painter working in oils and acrylics, he discovered pastels in the late 1980s and quickly switched media, enjoying “the immediacy of pastel and the challenge of combining colors to make a color that only exists in the eye of the viewer”. Since his transition, he has consistently sought new challenges, always aiming for something new in color and form. Perhaps due to his considerable experience and his lifelong desire to grow, he exhibits unusual proficiency and skill in pastel.
Bachelor of Science, Wood Technology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Art Center School, studied with Robert Godfrey, Grand Rapids, Michigan
Throughout a seventy year span, Carl has hung and competed in countless art exhibitions across the country.
Some of the most notable include the following:
Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
International Association of Pastel Society, Denver, Colorado, Kansas City, Missouri, and Albuquerque, New Mexico
Pastel Society of America, New York City, New York
Southeastern Pastel Society, Atlanta, Georgia
Friends of Art, Grand Rapids, Michigan
LaFontsee Galleries, Douglas, Michigan
Returned to active participation in art community
Took over active management Forslund Manufacturing Division
Entered career in Carl Forslund Furniture business
Staff Artist post-WWII for the 20th Air Force
Formed “the West Michigan Eight” with seven other professional artists
Co-founded Great Lakes Pastel Society
Entered & became member of Degas Pastel Society, New Orleans, Louisiana
Member of Board of Directors for Grand Rapids Art Gallery
Founding member of Grand Valley Artists (last surviving member)
Selected as Distinguished Pastelist, Southeastern Pastel Society
Exceptional Merit award, Southeastern Pastel Society
Master Circle Medal, International Association of Pastel Societies
Selected as Signature Member, Pastel Society of America
Grand Valley State University
Muskegon Museum of Art
Spectrum Hospital- Blodgett & Downtown Campus
Fifth Third Bank
Hauenstein Neurological Center
Exclusively at LaFontsee Gallery