Monday, February 28, 2011

This Artist's Journey

Capt Joey of recently sent me a questionnaire to fill out to be posted on his blog. I gladly obliged. One of the questions was: who is your favorite local artist. My immediate response was 'me'. The more that I thought about my response I realized that there are local painters that I have admired, that have informed and guided my journey as an artist. This post is about my first art teacher Ken Gore. His studio is where I began my long apprenticeship (17 years) to becoming a 'master' artist.

The first Cape Ann artist that I have always admired is landscape painter Ken Gore (1911-1990). Ken was a member of the Northshore Art Association and The Rockport Art Association. He had a studio and gallery on East Main Street across from the The Beacon Marine where he taught painting on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. My father, a student of Ken's, arranged for me to have lessons with Ken. My paintings were not very good, but Ken saw ability in my drawings and encouraged me to seriously pursue art. I was 13.

The photo is Ken's painting "The Willow" that was auctioned through Blackwood March Auctioneers of Essex, MA a few years ago. I chose this painting to accompany this post because of the sheep, as well as his trademark use of the palette knife. Ken told me that when he was first learning to paint he was given a 2" brush to paint and 3 colors: red, yellow, blue and white. The subject? sheep. He could paint them in his sleep. Ken said that anything one could do with a small brush, could be done with a big brush; but, a small brush cannot do the work of a big brush. This advice has guided me through 40 odd years of painting, My preferred brushes are 1-2" bristle chip brushes that can hold alot of paint.

btw: my first lesson was to draw a portrait of another student's husband, then to paint his portrait. the drawing was true to the man's age. the painting made him look so much younger that his wife bought it. i didn't get the money, it was paid to Ken for my very first lesson. In exchange for future lessons, I posed for Ken's classes.




Kay said...

fun post! Ken sounded like a great guy.

Debbie Clarke aka pbsage said...

i was young. he was just a smelly man that knew how to paint. heheheh.
in fact all of the students were old and smelly to me. did not want anyone to know i was taking art classes with old folk, thought it was fuddy duddy and tried to hide my paintbox from my friends. it wasn't cool.

the art and i, on the other hand, made an immediate life-long connection.

thanks for stopping by Kay!