Ken, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My Mom and two older brothers were artists. Because Mom wanted all of us to eventually become professional artists when we grew up, in the 2nd grade, she and Dad sent us to Highland Hall, a Waldorf School (a European-based system of education geared towards encouraging the artistic side of children).
This definitely nurtured our creative sides but frankly, at the cost of our mathematical sides. Nevertheless, out of this education, I developed a deep appreciation for art, art history, science, bird watching and bird painting. Then, in 1974, following a brief stint at SD State where I majored in fine art and ornithology, like a dream come true, I was hired as an exhibits designer at the San Diego Natural History Museum on the basis of my bird and wildlife painting portfolio. There I learned how to fabricate models, build dioramas, paint background murals and do bird taxidermy.
After work each day, I kept practicing my fine art drawing and painting skills and in 1976, moved on from the museum to become a full-time fine artist showing at several galleries throughout the country including Hammer galleries in NYC. Also, in the 70’s, I started attending life drawing sketch groups (still do) and intensively studying human and comparative anatomy. Today, my paintings and drawings continue to reflect the deep appreciation of nature and the human figure that I gained during my formative years. Since retiring from the museum in ’76, I have been painting, teaching and selling art as a professional and never consider the idea of conventional employment.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Because I am very curious by nature, I paint any subject I find intriguing, unique and challenging. Usually these are figures, portraits, landscapes and imaginary historical themed semi-abstractions. In the Health Care and Public Art field, my artist wife Stephanie and I both design site specific artwork and murals geared to enhance hospital surroundings and contribute to overall patient well-being.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
If an artist really has a desire to hone in on some form of artistic expression, be willing to make choices that keep one’s life simple and undistracted. Advice: Know and follow your own artistic passion, educate yourself diligently, admire but do not compare yourself to others, respect your own unique fingerprints; everything else will follow.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?