GARDINER — Monkitree, 263 Water St., will present “Plein Ayuh: The Creative Realism of Ken Carlson” from Nov. 13 to Jan. 9. Familiar scenes of Gardiner become less familiar and more wondrous in the hands of Carlson. His experience as an illustrator and cartoonist has had an impact on his painting style. Often working plein air, he frees himself to play with a landscape he is familiar with- adding elements, skewing perspective, tilting structures. Carlson imbues buildings and landscapes with character. Whether it is a feed store bowing under the weight of its years or a new gazebo tilting toward a nearby sculpture, there’s a sense these structures have feelings.

Carlson drew editorial cartoons for the Kennebec Journal from 1985-2002. He enjoyed watercolor color painting over the years. Or so he thought, “I took my first workshop with Tony van Hasselt, then the fun began and I started painting Plein Air, or as I like to say, “Plein Ayuh.”

In addition to the Nov. 13 opening reception, there is an additional opportunity to view the work with the artist present during Artwalk Gardiner set for 5:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 4.

For more information, call 512-4679 or visit

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