Right now, I’m doing a lot of printmaking in my studio:
The design is from my recent residency in Oaxaca, MX. These two women sold tamales in the street. Their tamales are delicious, and they let me practice speaking spanish while I ate. They have been selling tamales on that corner for 15 years.
I just took a week long stencil class with Oaxaca artist, Marcos Lucero. Marcos combines a variety of techniques and mexican motifs into his fantastic artworks. He is part of the Taller de Chicharra, a printmaking studio in Oaxacas centro district. In the class, I learned to to design an image, using ‘bridges’ and ‘islands’. We drew our designs on acetate with markers, and made projectors to enlarge our image, using cardboard and the light from our cell phone. after cutting our stencils(lots of cutting) we applied them with spray paint. Stencils are useful because they use simple materials, and let you quickly repeat a design on a variety of surfaces. Stencils are popular with street artists. I made 2 stencils…the first was a celebration of the rainy season in Mexico. I was able to get a variety of different effects using the same stencil.
The second stencil was a grasshopper, or chaupalin, as they say in Mexico. This stencil uses two templates…one for the color of the silhouette, the other for the details.
not only did i learn a lot from the workshop, but I also got to meet other artists, watch them create new work, and practice my Spanish. Muchas gracias a Marcos y el taller chicharra for the lesson.
In honor of Martin Luther King Day, I want to share my latest print.
It is a portrait of Kentucky Legend, Eliza Harris.
In a race for freedom, Eliza jumped across floating pieces of ice to cross the Ohio River with her baby.
At the Ohio Shore, she was greeted by a man who was going to return her to slavery…but after watching her death defying river crossing, he helped her connect with the ‘underground railroad’ where she was relocated to Canada.
This print was hard to photograph, because the bottom layer is a gold-metallic ink. It really should be seen in person.
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Ken is a self-taught artist from rural Kentucky, whose work includes painting, printmaking, and pottery. 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.
Before the pandemic, You could visit Ken every Final Friday of the month at studio 400 at the Pendleton Art Center in downtown Cincinnati. Now, he's mostly sitting on his front porch ,keeping a social distance, in the Historic Village of Old Washington, KY.