Karl was born in Cornwall in 1964 and was brought up in Penzance, a town then very much dependant upon the fishing industry. He spent much of his early life in and around the harbour and the beaches and as a result his interest in nature began from an early age. By eleven, with much encouragement from his parents, he was a budding ornithologist.
The interest in birds combined with an interest in art and in 1986 he attended the Carmarthenshire College of Art and Technology, winning an award for outstanding achievement in wildlife illustration. After graduating with an HND he moved to Bristol to become a freelance artist/illustrator whilst still maintaining his interest in art and wildlife.
In 1992 he exhibited at the Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery, a first for a wildlife artist, which led to commissions for their permanent collection. He has three times been ‘Artist in Residence’ at the Nature in Art Museum in Gloucestershire, through which he entered and won the Artist Magazine Nature in Art award in 1998. He has also been a regular exhibitor at the Wildlife Art Society, winning the Evegate Award for the most innovative approach to wildlife art in 1996 and a Silver Medal for excellence in 2000.
Karl regards his finest achievement to date as having been selected seven times for the prestigious annual ‘Birds in Art’ exhibition at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wisconsin, USA. “To have your work chosen from over 1,000 applicants from all over the world is a great honour and on one occasion I was the only English representative in the exhibition”.
Although he mainly paints birds it is such an individual approach that would be wrong to place Karl in the category of a traditional wildlife artist. While the birds are portrayed accurately in a representational style it is the manner in which they feature within the composition that is so different. They give to all his paintings a focal point with which he creates an interesting relationship between the bird and the environment in which it is placed and he often contrasts the animate bird with inanimate objects such as stone and steel.