Welcome to my chaotic little world

SAIC Painting 3

The Mirror Shows – Pastel, gouache

Yeah, hmm . . . weird you would want to know about me, but, since we’re here –

This blog is going to mainly be about my life as an artist, sometimes as a musician, often as a partner (hi Amy!) and, occasionally, my day job will creep in. I originally posted this in my “About” page but it seemed like as good a place as any to start.

I’m consciously starting this journey as a work in progress. I was trained as an artist and illustrator. I come from a long line of artists and have always had creating as a central part of my life. That center got covered over by a lot of crap for quite a few years (decades?). Some of that crap was just life’s twists and turns; a lot of it was just self inflicted (I’ll probably get around to that part of the story – later). Anyway, with the help of my friends and family, the “self inflicted” part was jettisoned about nine years ago and the artist part started waking up again. I picked up a class here and there at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). I wasn’t sure I still had it in me, but, much to my relief, something remained.

Now, in the heroic version of this story, I’d tell you I boldly picked up my paint brush and began to make art!

The truth is that I toyed around with it for a few years. Making art that others would see was intimidating, I worried about putting myself out there. I was consumed with masterpiece-itis – making big works that took a year and a half to finish and were about as inward looking as they could get. I suppose I needed that time and that hesitation to get frustrated enough to try something different. Something different was fully committing to a drawing and painting program at SAIC. I started about a year ago. I’ve had incredible teachers (yeah, big shock there – it’s the Art Institute for chrissakes), I’ve met some wonderful artists who have become good friends and, and here’s the reason for this blog, I’ve been pushed to become an actual artist, not someone dreaming about becoming an artist.

So, I’m 56, kind of stable but kind of nuts and starting out on a path that I hope I’ll be on for the rest of my time on this Earth (and who knows, maybe heaven will just be a big studio and painting intensive). Earlier I called my present state as an artist a work in progress. While I feel like the work has gotten strong lately, I know that I haven’t yet found my authentic voice. I feel like there is still so much to experience. Every class and every studio opportunity gives me the chance to grow, learn and see what I haven’t seen yet. I pray I always stay in that place – it seems like a good place to be. I’m starting this blog because I’d like to try to document the struggles of making art with my eyes wide open and maybe you, the reader, will find something that resonates with you in your struggle to become whoever you believe you are meant to be.

I hope you like what I put up here. If you’re reading this, I hope you find something in site to inspire, comfort, challenge or just ponder.

Categories: Art, Uncategorized

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3 replies »

  1. Ken, this is a wonderful idea that pushes the journey forward. To document your process, to discover new challenges and to hear more clearly that inner voice that says “paint this”. Barlow, M.F.A. SAIC, ACE Faculty


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