Carl Fellman Schaefer was born in Hanover, Ontario in 1903. Schaefer studied at the Ontario College of Art from 1921-24, his teachers included Arthur Lismer and J.E.H. MacDonald.
Schaefer's work was focused on agrarian and social scenes, he often painted in watercolours.
He was as an official war artist with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1943-46.
Schaefer began teaching in 1930 at The Ontario College of Art from 1948 to 1970.
Schaefer has exhibited internationally, he exhibited along side friends, and fellow artists The Group of Seven in the 1930's.
Schaefer became a charter member of the Canadian Group of Painters in 1936. He was also a member of the Canadian Society of Graphic Art, Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, and Royal Society of Arts.
Among numerous honours, he received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1941, the first awarded to a Canadian. In 1978 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada.
His works can be found in the collection of The National Gallery of Canada, among others.
Schaefer passed away in 1995, Toronto, Ontario.