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Virtual/in person exhibit : Part 1 Plein Air Out West

Earlier this summer, I needed a change of scenery, so

I packed my paints and went out WEST

On this trip, I followed the tradition of Plein Air painting

First made famous by the French Impressionists of the 1800s.  Instead of working inside a studio, these paintings were painted outdoors; directly from life.  My ‘studio’ was the wide open spaces of the west.  I did not touch up the paintings afterwards, nor did I use cameras or any other digital tools.  Every stroke of paint was created while standing outside in front of the subject of the painting.  It’s all about capturing the essence of the moment.

For generations, artists have traveled west to paint

Exploring a new, unfamiliar place, with high altitude, wind and a different kind of light and weather brought some challenges, but those challenges are what makes plein air painting so special and fun!  There’s no time to get caught up in details.  The paintings are made up of broad, expressive strokes.  Being in these awesome new places gave me much needed joy and inspiration that I was able to put into the paintings.   

My dream was to hang these together in a group

then invite you all to come see them in person at my studio in Cincinnati. I’m still going to do that, but I want everyone to stay safe during the pandemic, instead of one big opening I’m going to give you the first look through this email. 

Art online is nice, but it’s 1000% better in person

If you are willing to wear a mask and comfortable visiting an indoor public space, I would still love to invite you to my studio at the Pendleton Art Center in Cincinnati.  You can see this series AND another series of more abstract and whimsical style paintings IN PERSON on Tuesday and Thursday from 11-7pm the 21st and 23rd of September.  To avoid crowds, appointments are preferred. You can email to make a reservation, or call/text me at 859.652.3136.

If you were waiting for more abstract, colorful studio paintings,

make sure you have subscribed to my email newsletter and keep an eye on your inbox, I’m working on an email sneak peek: a series of completely different style (and new!) studio paintings. They are in a more colorful, abstract, and whimsical style you may be familiar with.  If you want first ‘dibs’ the email will come out later this week.   

Thanks again for your interest/support of my work. Hope to see you in person soon. Stay safe out there!
Ken

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bethel methodist church – slip up, mason county, ky 24 june 2021

this charming little church, sits on top of a hill, just a country mile north of down town slip up kentucky. its going to make a great painting…lets do it!
heres my sketch…lets paint!
heres the underpainting…i did a little bit of squishing, so the barn in the background could fit into the vertical proportion…now it color time!!! theres lots of light this morning, so i think the dominant color today will be YELLOW…stay tuned…these things rarely work out the way i plan, happy surprises happen all the time!
i have some colors down. the painting wants to lean toward green. of course, its summer, and EVERYTHING wants to lean toward green these days.
up to this point, ive only used a #12 flat brush…a pretty big size considering the size of the painting. now im going to switch to a #6 flat, and dive into the details!
bethel methodist church, slip-up, ky oil on hardboard 8×10” UPDATE: This painting found it’s new home!!! Thank you for supporting my work!!!
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mutter gottes kirche covington, ky 22 june 2021

i dont see travel to europe in my near future, fortunately, we have an old german church here in northern ky. im going to try and paint it today
Here’s my sketch…let’s Paint!
this is a tricky one..in the tower, where light hits, its lighter than the sky, but not everywhere… and im tempted to move everything left 2 inches
scooted the church over a few inches…now its color time!!
laying in some colors…time to tackle some of the buildings details…
when im up close, painting, i feel like the painting is failing…but when i take a few steps back and see thebig picture, its actually coming together… thats the nature of an impressionist painting…maybe life too?!
i’m calling this one finished! mother of godchurch, 12×16 oil on hardboard

Want to add this original painting to you art collection? Click below for more information.

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Plein Air At the Baker Hunt Art and Culture Center – 15 june 2021

photo of the baker hunt art and culture center in covington kentucky
todays painting is at the Baker Hunt Art And Culture center in covington.
sketch of baker hunt art and culture center in covington ky
Here is my sketch…let’s start painting!!!
plein air underpainting of te baker hunt art and culture center in Covington ky
heres my underpainting…time for color. this scene is backlit (the sun is behind the subject) so ill have to think about how i want to tackle all these shadows
i have a strategy for my colors…..lots of cools, because everything is in shadow. it feels a little bonkers at this stage, but im going to try and pull it all together into a beautiful impressionist painting…stay tuned!
first colors of plein air oil painting of the baker hurt art and culture center in covington kentucky
getting closer…going to catch those last details, then call it a wrap!
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Devil’s Tower, WY plein air 9 June 2021

In this short time, I have fallen in LOVE with Wyoming…my new favorite state (after Kentucky, of course). It’s time for me to head back home, but not before I visit and make a painting of the iconic, Devil’s Tower. The temperature today is in the high 90’s…probably comfortable weather for the devil…but hotter than I am used to.
Here’s my sketch…let’s start painting!
my underpainting…next let’s add color!
The stone formation is an interesting color…i interpreted it as a purple and yellow orange.
The finished painting!!!!! I’m sad to leave Wyoming today, but happy to have this painting experience to have forever….And I will be back soon! Thanks everyone for cheering me on during my paint trip out west!
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Kepler Cascades – Yellowstone National Park 7 June 2021

I’m back in Kentucky after a wonderful and inspiring painting trip out west! Internet was hit or miss, so I didn’t get to share everything as it happened. Here’s the view of Kepler Cascades in Yellowstone National park–Let’s make an oil painting to capture the beauty…
…my sketch of the falls…time for color
i’m working out the colors of the painting…it’s not visible from my photos, but this is an EXTREMELY busy spot, there is a constant flow of people asking me what I’m doing–and giving compliments/encouragement. Most of my trip has been in wilderness–being around people again takes some getting used to.
The finished painting!!! I hope to show this (and the other paintings from my trip) this fall at the re opening of my studio at the pendleton art center. stay tuned for more details!
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Painting the Flaming Gorge canyon – Wyoming 5 june 2021

this is the east view of the flaming gorge canyon in South West Wyoming…it’s hard to photograph this incredible and wide view. thank goodness i’m a painter, and can squeeze it all into one scene.

here is my sketch.
my underpainting…really tricky to squeeze it all into one view.
starting to lay in colors…i’m still getting used to the atmosphere and colors of the west. This canyon is green on the left, then red and white rocks on the right.
almost done…just needs a few more details
here it is! The Flaming Gorge view from the east. Oil on hardboard 12″ x 24″
forgot to include my photo of the artist at work…so you have proof it was really me out there 🙂
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East of Eden, Wyoming wilderness near the continental divide

I’m in the high desert of Wyoming, painting the snow peaked mountains of the Continental Divide.
A challenge I have with plein air painting is to work FAST and capture the light (which is ever changing) I wanted to try something I have always been intimidated to do…paint during a sunset. The colors of a landscape are most brilliant during a sunset, BUT everything changes REALLY fast. Within 5 minutes, the scene can be completely different….ok, lets do it!!!
here is my sketch. I am interested in the mountains in the distance, contrasting with the desert landscape in the foreground
I have to work fast, this underpainting leaves a lot to be desired. When painting during a sunset, I can’t spend much time in details…i just mix and throw paint around, trying to capture the essence of the moment.
My first layers of color are down on the panel…I have never painted this fast before…I’m trying to capture the rapidly changing light of sunset
Here is the finished painting!!! I’m proud of myself. Sunset has always been intimidating because the light changes so fast. I want to work from life – and not use cameras…it IS possible!!!
If you think the mountains turning blue during the sunset was pretty, look at what was happening behind me while painting!!!
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
I forgot to mention, this location is the first place where I saw wild antelope. The first one i saw, i thought to myself, “well, that’s a funny looking deer!”
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off the grid in south central Wyoming

Good morning everyone! Greetings from off the grid, Wyoming! I love the way the sunrise gives shape to these buttes(?) Let’s paint it!
Here’s my sketch! Time to paint!
I got so excited about the sky, i forgot to take a photo of the underpainting…here’s the underpainting with some blue sky!
nice thing about being off the grid (no cell service) i can just tune everything out and paint. I REALLY enjoyed this one!
Hello! Wish you were here painting with me!
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Clear Creek Canyon – Golden, CO 3 June 2021

photo of Clear Creek Canyon in Golden Colorado
I’m at Clear Creek Canyon outside Golden, Colorado.
Going to start an oil painting!
sketch of clear creek canyon near golden colorado
got my sketch. now lets paint!
oil painting clear creek canyon golden colorado
Here is my underpainting — now it’s time for color!
i have some colors laid out. this is a tricky view, because i am looking into the sun and the canyon is backlit. makes it hard to see the painting in the photo too, but hope you get the idea
almost finished…this is a wild little painting of the wild west. because ive been looking into the sun all this time, i wont know what it really looks like until i bring the painting indoors
ok, its done!! im roasted…stick a fork in me and call me done too! on a good day i can get 2 paintings. today has been good. i am happy to be here! ill have to take another picture when its not in the shade…the colors are a lot of fun!