Next Friday (May 2nd 6pm-10pm), I am the featured artist at the FUSION gallery in Belleview. I have been working hard to paint and frame some new paintings for the exhibit. The Cincinnati’s Flying Pig Marathon is the same weekend, and my sister and her husband are coming to run the marathon with me…so I am also training for the marathon!
Yesterday, I visited Artcroft. I fired a kiln load of pots at the barn, and while waiting, painted the road that leads to the farm. What a beautiful day!
Today while stretching canvas, I ran out of staples for my staple gun, and thought it would be interesting to use tacks. I imagine my favorite 19-20th century painters using tacks to stretch canvas, so I bought tacks at the hardware store. It is a lot more work than the convenient staple gun. But I think the tacks give the canvas a unique look. Too bad it will be hidden by the frame when finished!
Now I need to get some paint on these new canvases!
I heard that the peach trees at Fox Field Farm are in full bloom, so I packed up my sketch pad, camera and oil pastels. The trees were beautiful, but the sky was gray, and it was very cool outside. I endured the cold long enough to take some photos, make some sketches and start an oil pastel painting. Eventually my hands were too cold to hold the pastels, so I packed my gear…with plans to finish the details of the painting at the studio.
Bob and Anna Dale Pyles grow the best peaches in the area. If I didn’t see the trees for myself, I would swear they import the peaches from Georgia (yes, they are that good!) Be sure to find them at the farmer’s market during Peach season (August)
I haven’t had a chance to finish the painting…once I returned to the studio, I looked in my office and remembered that taxes are due tomorrow!!! So I spent the rest of the day filling out forms.
Thanks all for coming out to Maysville and celebrating my new art studio!!!
It was shoulder-to-shoulder for the whole time the studio was open to the public. Sorry I did not get a chance to take any pictures during the show. Here are some pictures right before the opening.
I was a little bit skeptical about having an event on a Monday, but the weather was on our side, and marketing with the museum’s opening…and with the other local galleries was a great idea! The show was an enormous success.
Now I can get back to painting!
The day after the show, I took a bike ride from Maysville to Ripley, OH.
Spring is in full bloom, so I stopped along the way, and did some sketching and photography while cycling along the Ohio River.
I stopped by the John Parker House, and worked on a composition for a new painting. I also did some sketching at Eagle Creek.
I rode through Higginsport, where Main Street was in bloom.
I cycled to the Augusta Ferry, where I crossed the river, and returned to my beloved Kentucky. Then raced along the river back to Maysville…home sweet home.
I tended bar at George Clooney’s party at the Beehive after the screening of his movie “Leatherheads”…didn’t get home until 3am.
The next day I went to Artcroft to mix some glazes. While moving, I discovered a lot of unfired pottery. I would like to get them glazed…if for no other reason I can use the dishes at my new place. It was nice to visit the farm again. It was like going home in a way…felt very comforting and familiar.
Wednesday was a beautiful day. I received the postcards for the April 7th exhibit at my studio, and noticed that the date was wrong! Guests would have to time travel to see the April 6, 2007 artshow.
Instead of deal with that crisis, I thought I would mount my art supplies on my bicycle and do some painting. I have not had a chance to paint since leaving Artcroft. (It takes a lot of time to move…and frame 60 new paintings!)
After a really long window shopping session on sites like www.foldingbikezone.com/best-hybrid-bikes-under-1000/, I have been inspired and I am trying to develop a way to mount my art studio onto my bicycle. I love riding my bike. Not only is it great exercise, but it gives you an opportunity to slow down a bit, and enjoy the scenery.
My first stop was the top of Sutton hill in downtown Maysville. Sutton hill has a great view of Downtown…
I want to put a few finishing touches on this one, but you can get the basic idea for the painting.
My second stop was a view of the houses on the river on the East side of Maysville. The wind picked up, and there were a few instances when I needed to chase my painting down the street!
I’ll put a few finishing touches on this one too!
So now I’m home…putting 7s on the 6s and 8s on the 7s…for 500 postcards!!! I will probably have blisters
What a day! It was warm outside with blue skies and hurricane strength winds. Determined to make a plein air painting, I took my gear, and hiked to one of my favorite views at the farm where you can see for miles and miles. The wind was very strong, and I was not prepared to work plein air, so it was awkward at first. I found a rock to sit on, and devised a way to keep my paper from blowing away…and created this beautiful plein air painting!
I did some hiking on the farm, then had the opportunity to visit Joe Netta’s studio and take a photo of his work in progress. Only being here for 3 days, he is just getting started, but he is working on a few super cool projects. He is a great artist…with ideas that will change the way you think about things. I cannot describe his work nearly as well as he does, so take a look at the work on his website, and be sure and check out the blog on the site…I am eager to see and hear what he does at Artcroft!
After dinner, I invited Robert and Maureen to my studio to choose a painting to leave with Artcroft. Today is my last full day at Artcroft. Tomorrow, I am going to pack things up. Which one do you think they chose??? You will have to come to my show in April to find out! It will have a big red sticker with their name on it!
Spring is right around the corner. You can see it in the garden beds…new life is already sprouting. At the end of this residency, I feel like a new life is starting for me too. I have learned so much during this month…I will return home a new person/artist. Thank you Robert and Maureen for creating and sharing such a special place.
To start the day, I decided to take Robert’s advice, and attempt a plein air painting. The weather was nice (sunny in the 40s), so I strapped my gear on my back, and took my studio outdoors.
I chose to paint the road that leads to/from Artcroft. It is situated on a series of hills. With a nice mix of old trees. During winter, it is difficult to paint outside, so I paint fantastic images from my mind. I love my indoor work, but the fresh air blended with turpentine was like visiting a long lost friend. I love painting plein air.
I wanted to take advantage of the good weather, so I then went for a 7.5 mile jog around the block. I pretty much turned right at every road that I passed. There was a nice steep hill with a church at the top, followed by a sheep farm…complete with a variety of chickens scattered around the yard. I would really like to go back with sketchbook.
After the run, I noticed the truck was filled with compost. I offered to help lay the compost on the garden bed before taking my after-run shower. After unloading the truck, Robert came back from checking on Shirley (the big fat mama goat), and he said that she was ready to have her babies, but needed some help. I don’t think I was much help, but it was amazing to see Robert get in “there” and turn the baby from feet first to head first. Then he delivered another baby. One boy one girl.
I took my shower, then went to the studio to work, as the new resident drove up. The most important component of her project was lost in the flight. What terrible luck! She was able to order everything she needs, and it should arrive monday.
After having babies, a goat is supposed to stand up so the babies can get to her milk. Shirley still wasn’t standing up, so I went to the barn to help coax her to a standing position. When we tried to move her, she hollered like she was in terrible pain. There was another baby inside her…and this one was coming out feet first. The baby was not cooperative, and I thought it must be dead. Robert tugged on it, and had a difficult time getting it out, but it came out, and coughed. It was alive!!!! WOW.
Shirley still hadn’t stood up on her own, which is understandable considering what she went through. Robert, Maureen and I ended up bottle feeding the three little goats, and they are now resting in the barn with their mama.
Last night, furious winds crossed the hills in Kentuckyland. When I woke up, there was no electricity and I saw the veranda attached to the resident’s quarters had been blown down.
My cell phone worked, and I called my friend who was staying at my old house with the dogs and cats. During last night’s storm, a tornado passed between me and my neighbor’s house. The barn was leveled, the outhouse vanished, The neighbor’s trampoline 2 acres away broke a window, and enough roof is missing from the house so you can see the stars through the ceiling!
It’s probably good that I missed all the excitement. The animals are all safe, and nothing irreplaceable was destroyed.
After a few hours, the electricity came back on, and I went to my studio to work. It was a good escape from my worries, and I almost finished my second oil painting. The rain stopped, so I strapped on my waterproof hiking boots and took a walk around the farm.
I sketched a scene where a stream emptied into a pond, then followed the stream for a while. It is very easy to keep walking, because every corner you turn offers new beautiful views. I was a good distance from the studio, when the skies changed from blue to grey to black, so I quickly changed direction and returned to the studio. I got a little wet, but made it to shelter before the torrential downpour started.
After drying off and doing some painting, the storm stopped as abruptly as it started, and the sky displayed one of the most magnificant rainbows i have ever seen!
I returned to my work, until dinner time. After dinner, I had a few inspired hours when I started a new oil painting. I tried to use my camera to record video of me creating the artwork, but the memory filled up without my knowing, so I continued painting without being recorded. I have always thought the first moments of a new painting are the most exciting anyway! I should have the video ready to share soon!
I met Sue Gorman for another ‘Plein air wednesday’ at Aberdeen, OH’s river park.
The view of Maysville is impressive from the park. I was feeling ambitious, and thought I’d try and tackle a 20″x30″ canvas. I figured I would just use a bigger brush, and it would be the same as a sensible 11×14 or 16×20 canvas.
My arm got much more of a workout, but I wasn’t able to finish the painting…I stayed an extra 3 hours longer than our usual painting session. However, the great size of the painting gives a great impression of a magnificant view! I am finishing the painting in studio.
Sue left before I could photo her painting, but she did an excellent painting of the bridge in turquoise and oranges. If she sends me a photo, I’ll post it…it’s very nice.
Then, after a swim at the YMCA, a storm rolled in, and I had to stop and take a picture of the dark sky contrasting with the autumn colors.
**update** Sue sent me a copy of her beautiful painting for everyone to enjoy…thanks sue!
A week goes fast when you are keeping busy….or maybe I’m just getting old.
Last wednesday, I met Sue Gorman for plein air wednesday. We painted a covered bridge on North Pole road (it’s just outside Ripley, Ohio). A deer came close to the site where we were painting, but ran away as soon as I got my camera in focus.
I did, however, get some snapshots of a pair of artists in their natural environment!
School’s in full swing (week 6). It’s taking a lot of time I would really rather spend being an artist.
I went down to Augusta and painted Rosemary Clooney’s house.
I spent a day cutting wood into picture frames. I still have to putty and paint.
Monday, I drove to Flemmingsburg to paint and visit my friend and opera singer, Jessica Cain.
Tuesday was school for the first half of the day, followed by an afternoon of studio painting!
Hope you all had a great week!
Oh , I heard my painting for fresh art sold for $800 at the auction. It was a great painting, but I’m surprised (in a great way) it did so well!
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, animation and ipad art. He considers himself to be a 'lifetime learner' and he uses art as the vehicle to explore and learn more about the world around him. Much of his work reflect his optimistic views on rural folk culture, river life and simple pleasures.
You can visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. He can also be found picnicking near his home in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.