Ken Spencer

The famous religious painter Carl Bloch was said to have dipped his paintbrush in his heart. As an artist, I relate to that statement because painting for me is a way to turn myself inside out and share what is there on canvas. Sometimes I see things that are so painfully beautiful that I can find no adequate words to describe them. My art has become a spiritual language where I can express myself without speaking. And hopefully those who view my paintings will feel what I am trying to say with no words passing between us. I have found that it is through visual imagery that I can best reveal my passions.

As an artist I am more interested in painting my emotional reaction to a subject than in creating a photorealistic rendering of it; consequently my paintings lean more to impressionism than realism. I tend to work in an abbreviated style where the suggestion is more important than the completed statement, and where the parts or details are sacrificed for the good of the whole. I’ve learned that the less I give away in my paintings, the more people seem to read in them.  To me, there is more poetry in an image when not every detail is spelled out and the viewer is allowed to solve some of the mystery.

I love to capture the abstract patterns of light and shadow in the subject as, paradoxically, I find this creates a more realistic image when viewed from a short distance. I generally paint things that I am close to, both in distance and in feeling. I am not about depicting vast expanses of nature, but rather of close, intimate corners of personal spaces. Any subject is game for my brush as long as it is beautifully lit. In truth, light is always the subject I find most exciting, as anything it touches is enhanced in depth, dimension, vibrance, and beauty. This is the spiritual implication art has for me.

I consider it the greatest of privileges to be an artist–to notice the grandeur in small things around me, to celebrate them on paper or canvas, and to share my passion for life though my artwork. 

As an artist I work between the opposite forces of visual law and the power of self expression. Just as there are laws that govern nature and society, there are laws that effect the creation of art. On the other hand art is creative, inspired, and innovative. Art wants to break away from the mediocre and the mundane. It strives to take the viewer beyond simply seeing an image to the experience of understanding and feeling deep emotion.

I have spent most of my life learning to draw and paint, and embrace the fact that this journey is not over. I have made it my goal to understand and apply the foundational principles of art, but to never let go of what is uniquely my own. I strive to create paintings that are the product of my beliefs and experiences. In each painting I work to bring into harmony my vision of the subject, the emotion I wish to convey, and the lessons I’ve learned from past experience.

“Art exists so that we may say the unsayable”. I hope that a person viewing my artwork will not only find the painting interesting to look at, but will enjoy a personal and emotional connection to the work of art. I hope that when the painting is hung on the wall that it functions as a window that will carry the viewer to another time or place and allow them this experience for a lifetime.

View the finished piece:


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