Northwest Native Designs

The Gallery » Artists


Item ID: 9243

Tribal Affiliation: Shawnee

Primary Media: Acrylics and Oils

Carol Kalhagen-Tamanaha is a native of the Pacific Northwest and had the advantage of growing up surrounded by woodlands. She turned to wildlife art to express her deep love for nature and animals.

Carol is of Norwegian, Scotch/Irish/German and Native American decent. She is very proud the fact that her Mother’s ancestors were some of the first settlers in Kentucky and fought in the Revolutionary War, and very proud also, of her Shawnee heritage.

Carol started exhibiting in 1972 and has received many awards for her watercolor, pen and ink, acrylic and oil paintings. By 1976, she was painting wildlife exclusively and since that time she has developed a unique style, which has gained recognition nationally.

Each painting is a composite of photos taken of the area or sketches done on location. She travels throughout North America with her photographer husband, Steve Tamanaha to find her portrayals of wildlife. This travel, combined with research on each subject, allows her to paint a story into each of her works.

The artwork of Carol Kalhagen celebrates the bond between mankind and the animal kingdom. Carol incorporates a combination of motifs from ancient cultures into her wildlife art to identify our relationship with nature as a mystical magical unity.

Carol’s son, Tony Kalhagen, an accomplished musician and songwriter, has written music since he was 16 years old. Carol was in the habit of listening to his music while she painted and started naming her paintings after songs he had written. When Carol was marketing her first limited edition, “Waltz of the Kings”, she came up with a great idea: let collectors hear the music that inspired the art. Since then they have collaborated on several projects. Each unique image that Carol painted was accompanied by an original piece of music. The music is said to enhance the mood and feel of the artwork, and to inspire the feeling of entering into the often esoteric yet realistic world, which Carol creates. Even though they have both continued with their careers on separate paths, they continue to travel a parallel universe and have many more projects they will be collaborating on in the future.

Carol believes we all have a soul. When you look into the eyes of her animals you will know this too. We all have multi-levels of design, color, emotion, joy, sadness, fear, and love. This is reflected in the eye

“There is Beauty in Everything I See”
May you all walk in Beauty.