His father Charles was Hungarian and his mother Eleanore was of Danish origin.
Educated at Grosse Ile High School, he entered the Air Force following his graduation.
In 1965 he received a Dutch Government scholarship to study at the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam which was cut short because of his father’s untimely death. Following that he received a full scholarship to Brooklyn Museum, New York City, were he was a student instructor teaching basic painting, drawing and figure drawing. During this time he met and married Patty Harrison, a nurse from Cumbria, England, who had settled in America.
In March 1968 he joined a group of other artists for his first exhibition. A series of exhibitions followed at Wyandotte, Deerborn, Grosse Point, Ann Arbor and Bloomfield, Michigan.
In 1974 he 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 his own studio at Grosse Ile, Michigan, where he worked and taught painting and sculpture.
In 1980 he had a highly successful one-man show at the Lambert Brow Galleries in Michigan and also in England in 1984. He used a wide range of mediums like pastel, pen & ink, sepia, oil and acrylic in the subjects of trees, ice-flows, vegetable garden studies, portraits, landscapes and murals.
He was commissioned to paint a mural of Irish historical scenes in a private Michigan country house and his art patron sent him to Ireland so that he might experience a greater respect of Irish culture, landscape and its people. His work on this mural lasted six years. During this time his lifelong passion for Ireland came to the surface and in 1986 he travelled throughout Ireland in search of a home which would allow him the uninterrupted opportunity to paint.
He acquired an old farmhouse which was conveniently located just outside Kenmare in Co. Kerry, giving him easy access to the environs of the stone circles and other historical sites. Carl and his wife Patty went separate ways.
One-man shows at Jeffers Gallery, Kinsale in 1991 and the Park Hotel and Vestry Restaurant, Kenmare in 1995, followed. Many of his works went into private collections as well as into hotels and the corporate sector in the USA, Europe, Australia and Middle Eastern Countries.
Upon the death of his mother in 1994, much of his normal 12-14 hours a day painting schedule had been temporarily halted; as he had devoted himself to a new home operating a Bed & Breakfast, together with the love of his life Sabine. Carl’s new studio and sales outlet for his artwork by the name of “Carl’s Gallery” came into being attached to their house.
In 1997 Carl fell ill with cancer and the same year one last exhibition took place in the Blackcombe Gallery in Cork City.
“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. As an artist I am deeply indebted to the classic use of line – colour 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 – nothing more, nothing less.”
Carl N. Batternay.
RIP 26th of October, 1999.