About Carl's Gallery

Carl Batternay

“Carl’s Gallery” was established in 1993 by artist Carl N. Batternay (R.i.P. 1999). A native of Michigan, USA he was commissioned to paint a mural of Irish historical scenes and his art patron sent him to Ireland so that he might experience a greater respect for Irish culture, landscape and its people. His work on the mural lasted six years and during this time his lifelong passion for Ireland came to surface. 


I, Carl N. Batternay was born in Michigan, USA in May 1943.


My father was Hungarian born while my mother was American born, but of Danish/Irish origin.


In 1965 I received a Dutch Government Scholarship to study at the Reijksmuseum in Amsterdam. While in Holland close friendships with well-known artists provided me invaluable insights into such ways as to influence me and inspire me – Ger Langerweg and Peter Leeuw were such luminaries.


Upon my return from Holland because of my father’s untimely death, I sought employment in various interesting jobs, particularly as a retouch artist acquiring skills of detail technique. It allowed me to develop my current photo-realistic painting style.


In 1966 I received a full Scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum, New York City, wherein I was a Student Instructor teaching basic painting, drawing and figure drawing. I rejected the prevailing school of influence, the Blau Reiter, under Hoffman and Beckman, in favor of the Hudson Valley romantic landscape painters, particularly the artist William Bearstatt whose painting “Storm over the Rocky Mountains” was my favorite.

In 1968 at the Brooklyn Museum, I joined a group of other artists for my first public exhibition. A series of exhibitions at Wyandotte, Dearborn, Grosse Ile Point, Ann Arbor and Bloomfield, Michigan followed.  


In 1974 I received a Sculpture Scholarship to the Detroit Creative Studies Centre. From there the determination to paint full-time took over and led to the opening, in 1979, of my own Studio at Grosse Ile, Michigan, where I worked and taught painting and sculpture.


1980 was a turning point with my first solo show at the Lambert Brow Galleries, Michigan, which was highly successful. My paintings have been exhibited at the Brooklyn Museum School, the Detroit Centre for Creative Studies, and other Michigan galleries. In 1984 I had a solo exhibition in England. Many of my works have gone into private collections in the USA and Europe.


I went on to use a wide range of mediums e. g. Pastel, pen & ink, sepia, oil and acrylic in the subjects of trees, ice-flows, vegetable garden studies, still-lives, portraits, landscapes and murals.

I was commissioned to paint a mural of Irish historical scenes and my Art Patron sent me to Ireland so that I might experience a greater respect of Irish culture, landscape and its people. My work on this mural lasted for six years. During this time my lifelong passion for Ireland came to surface and in 1986 I traveled throughout Ireland in search for a home that would allow me the uninterrupted opportunity to paint. I settled just outside Kenmare, Co. Kerry, giving me easy access to the environ of ancient stone circles and other historical sites so numerous to the Ring of Beara.


After completing a range of paintings, I had a one-man show at Jeffers Gallery, Kinsale in 1991. Exhibitions followed in the Park Hotel and the Vestry Restaurant, Kenmare in 1995. One last exhibition followed at the Blackcombe Gallery, Cork in 1997, the same year I fell ill with cancer.


The guiding force in my life is my great love of biblical Scripture, which I have studied and taught for many years. This touches every area of my life and the numerous and diverse examples of Yahweh, our Creator, referred to in the Bible as the “Rock” ( Deut. 32:4, 15, 18, 30 ) explains, in a profound way, my affinity with stone and my dedication to faithfully capturing the minute detail of the ancient stone monuments in my latest paintings.


The best description of my work is set forth in the two fold aspect of external detail embracing a fairly esoteric internal search for structure far exceeding the mechanics of painting. For I am in a quest to give meaning to a subject i.e.: the ancient Megaliths, Dolmens and Menhir that remains closeted in deep shrouds of mystery.


My use of Photo-Mystical-Realism is functional to the end that it absorbs every detail my senses can discern : so that from a purely historical objective it can preserve the site as it is found sans the contemporary human presence. – Thus in this endeavor I am able to record for sake of visual form the very most engrossing impressions as they are presented to those who would desire to investigate this subject deeper.

As an artist, I am deeply indebted to the classic use of line – color composition and rhythm. I choose to portray all of my subjects with as much energy, awe and love as is within me possible. For me to paint is to give forth praise and thanks-giving; nothing more, nothing less.


Carl N. Batternay


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