Artist Bio

Since 2001, Carrie Carlson has been a full-time high school educator in the south suburbs of Chicago where she has split her years between the science and art departments. She also teaches a variety of adult art courses at the Morton Arboretum including linoleum block printing, drawing birds, and nature journaling.

  • National Board Certified Teacher
  • BA (Biology and Art), Luther College
  • MFA (Scientific Illustration), University of Michigan
  • MA (Printmaking), Governors State University
  • PhD candidate (Art + Design Education), Northern Illinois University

Artist Statement

As a scientific illustrator, art and science are tangled together in my life and I am inspired to celebrate this through landscapes, botanical studies and portraits of nature’s smallest objects and winged creatures.  I hope to reveal a bit of the wonderment I find in simple subjects by drawing attention to something beautiful or unique about them that might normally be overlooked or taken for granted.  I am especially interested in raising awareness about issues faced by threatened or exploited populations, be they human, bird or bumblebee.

Field sketching is a cornerstone of scientific illustration.  I cannot imagine visiting a local zoo, much less traveling abroad, without a sketchbook.  Travel and field sketching generate a deeper appreciation for humanity and the planet.  The act of drawing forces us to slow down, to notice, reflect, cherish, and consider… What I gain from these experiences is a passionate environmentalism and driving responsibility to speak up for underserved populations. Through my artwork, I pray my steady, hopeful voice brings greater attention to how we can contribute to solutions and healing.

If field sketching sparks new awareness and intimacy with the natural world, then creating finished prints satisfies an eagerness for studio challenges.  I greatly enjoy learning the complicated processes of traditional printmaking.  Relief printing, linoleum block in particular, has been an especially satisfying outlet for my creative energies.

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