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This profile was last updated on 11/6/07  and contains information from public web pages.

Mr. Les C. Kouba

Wrong Les C. Kouba?
 
Background

Employment History

  • Founder and Director
    American Wildlife Art Galleries of Minneapolis
  • Dean
    Waterfowl Hall of Fame
  • Designer
    Federal Duck Stamps
  • Wildlife Artist
  • Terry Redlin
51 Total References
Web References
Up North Wildlife Gallery - Les Kouba Biography
www.upnorthwildlifeartgallery.com, 6 Nov 2007 [cached]
Les Kouba
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Les Kouba
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Internationally known as one of the world's foremost painters of wildlife, Les Kouba's deep understanding of the subject stems from his youth on a Minnesota farm.Impressed by the beauty of nature at an early age, he was afforded ample opportunity to observe and study wildlife in their natural habitat.
At 14, Mr. Kouba supplemented his natural artistic talent with a correspondence school art course.The guidance of professional art instruction was invaluable in helping develop his own unusual technique which immediately identifies his work.His exciting oils, and dynamic water colors are known worldwide and reputed to be some of the most authentic portraits of wildlife existence.
In addition, Mr. Kouba's works have appeared on the covers if many national magazines, as illustrations for outdoor books and he is nationally known as an award winning package designer.He has also gained fame as the designer of Federal Duck Stamps.The artist was honored in "Men of Achievement 1974", "Who's Who in Art", International Directory of Arts and "Who's Who", elected 1976-77 D.U."Artist of the Year", winner of Minnesota's First Waterfowl Stamp Competition for the 1978 stamp and, in 1980, being of Czech heritage, recipient of the "King Charles International Award", for outstading achievements in art.
An extremely active supporter of "Ducks Unlimited", an international organization of sportsmen who foster the propagation of waterfowl, Les says "Ducks have been good to me. . .I want to be good to them."Les Kouba's contributions in artwork to Ducks Unlimited now exceeds his goal set for $1,000,000.
He is the Founder and Director of American Wildlife Art Galleries of Minneapolis, which houses one of the largest collections of original wildlife art in the Nation.The gallery exhibits hundreds of vividly exciting water color and oil paintings by famous American wildlife artists.
Minnesota Waterfowl Association - Waterfowl Hall of Fame
www.mnwaterfowl.com, 15 Feb 2011 [cached]
Les Kouba
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Les Kouba
Leslie C. Kouba, dean of Minnesota's wildlife artists, is a self-made man who described himself as 52 percent businessman and 48 percent artist. I've made my way in this world by following three principles: First, pick the thing you like to do best; then, learn everything you can about it; and finally, be willing to work harder than anyone else in that field. Kouba's secret to success: work. It's that simple."
My father, continues Kouba, contributed to my early appreciation of nature. He taught me a lot of the little tricks in hunting, trapping, and later, fishing. He instilled in me, at an early age, the sheer enjoyment of being outdoors.
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Kouba decided early in life that farming wasn't for him. I knew I could draw when I was about 8 years old. I think I made up my mind about then that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. In fact, says Kouba, many of the buildings on the farm still show traces of my early enthusiastic attempts at painting. And I was quite convinced Iwas on the right track when I sold my first painting at age 11 to a prosperous German farmer who lived near Hutchinson.
That first painting was of a deer at the water's edge with some pine trees in the background, remembers Kouba.
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I sold that painting for eight dollars, a king's ransom in those days" says Kouba. It doesn't seem like much by today's standards, but keep in mind that was in 1928, 'when a dime was as big as a wagon wheel.' To put it into perspective, my father's total income from his dairy business was $22 for the month.
That early sale went a long way in convincing Kouba's parents that his artistic skills were worth developing. Kouba's parents supported Les's interest in art by enrolling him at age 14 in a correspondence course sponsored by the Federal Schools in Minneapolis. The name has been changed since I went there, says Kouba. It's now known as Art Instruction, the 'Draw-Me' school. It offers all the basics but it doesn't overly influence technique. You don't end up painting like your instructor. I really learned a lot from that school. I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to take the course.
Many artists I've found today, says Kouba, could benefit from some of those early lessons. Less passed away in 1998.
This information was taken from Kouba's book, The Legacy of Les C. Kouba, p 11-12.
2010 Waterfowl Hall of Inductees
www.mnwaterfowl.com, 15 Dec 2012 [cached]
Les Kouba
Leslie C. Kouba, dean of Minnesota's wildlife artists, is a self-made man who described himself as 52 percent businessman and 48 percent artist. I've made my way in this world by following three principles: First, pick the thing you like to do best; then, learn everything you can about it; and finally, be willing to work harder than anyone else in that field. Kouba's secret to success: work. It's that simple.
My father, continues Kouba, contributed to my early appreciation of nature. He taught me a lot of the little tricks in hunting, trapping, and later, fishing. He instilled in me, at an early age, the sheer enjoyment of being outdoors.
...
Kouba decided early in life that farming wasn't for him. I knew I could draw when I was about 8 years old. I think I made up my mind about then that I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. In fact, says Kouba, many of the buildings on the farm still show traces of my early enthusiastic attempts at painting. And I was quite convinced I was on the right track when I sold my first painting at age 11 to a prosperous German farmer who lived near Hutchinson.
I sold that painting for eight dollars, a king's ransom in those days says Kouba.
...
The name has been changed since I went there, says Kouba. It's now known as Art Instruction, the 'Draw-Me' school. It offers all the basics but it doesn't overly influence technique. You don't end up painting like your instructor. I really learned a lot from that school. I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to take the course.
Many artists I've found today,says Kouba, could benefit from some of those early lessons. es passed away in 1998.
This information was taken from Kouba's book, The Legacy of Les C. Kouba, p 11-12.
Book - The Legacy of Les C. Kouba.
country-art.com, 7 Feb 2012 [cached]
Les Kouba's Coffee Table Book
Les Kouba's book, The Legacy of Les C. Kouba, would make a beautiful coffee table gift book. It contains a comprehensive view of his work including extensive biographical information. See why he is credited with being the first of the wildlife artists as we know them today. Here is a little about Les from the cover of the book.
"The Legacy of Les C. Kouba is the story, in pictures, words, and paintings, of the life and career of Minnesota's dean of wildlife artists, Les Kouba. Les claims he has been retired for several years, yet he is forever busy. At 71, he can still be found hard at work: in his studio; in the home he has shared with his wife Orial for 50 years; at the American Wildlife Galleries; or out experiencing the very things he paints-nature and its elements. I only paint what I know," says Kouba. I always made it a point of turning every experience into a learning opportunity. So true to life and precise in detail is his work that it is renowned for its authenticity. This artwork is as original as the artist himself. Kouba describes himself as "just a farm kid from Hutchinson," but he is much more than that. His generosity has touched the hearts of many through his charitable contributions and conservation efforts. Jimmy Robinson once said of Les, "he's the best friend ducks ever had."
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Kouba has never taken success for granted. He works as hard today as he did more than 50 years ago when his career was just beginning. He never lost sight of his childhood goal of becoming a wildlife artist."
The contents of this book are only a small part of what Les Kouba is all about. From his first painting to his most recent, each and every one of them reflect a part of his life. Each one tells its own story based on his experiences. These are the chronicles of a truly unique and original man. (from the cover) $195 . Les Kouba
The Legacy of Les C. Kouba makes a great "coffee table" gift book for a friend, a relative or even yourself. Call today, 507-223-5721, to place your order, or use our email order form . We'll call you back to finalize your purchase. We take Visa, Master Card and Discovery Card via personal contact. Your book will soon be on it's way to you
Les Kouba's book ,"The Legacy of Les C. Kouba"
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Les C. Kouba
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Terry Redlin | Charles Wysocki | Michael Sieve | Dave Barnhouse | Chet Reneson | Les C. Kouba | Charles Peterson
Earlier Terry Redlin Limited Editions prints - Country-Art.com
country-art.com, 4 Nov 2011 [cached]
Les C. Kouba
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Leslie was a local entrepreneur who expanded his farm into a blacksmith service, then to a cafe wrap-around on his barn and, finally, to cabins along the stream for overnight guests.
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Terry Redlin | Charles Wysocki | Michael Sieve | Dave Barnhouse | Chet Reneson | Les C. Kouba | Charles Peterson
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