Ken Spencer

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Ken Spencer

United States

J. Ken Spencer was born in Ogden, Utah. He began painting at the age of 14, studying with local artists and teachers. Spencer pursued his interest in art at Utah State University (Logan, Utah) where he gained fundamental knowledge in composition and form, he also developed skills such as draftsmanship and paint application while working from live models. He graduated in 1993 earning a Bachelor's Degree in Illustration.

After finishing his work at the university, he moved his family to the New York Metropolitan area where he worked as an illustrator for book publishers and magazines. It was at that time when Mr. Spencer began developing his fine art career by painting for exhibition in galleries and juried shows. He has exhibited his work in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and California. He has been included in such shows as the Oil Painters of America (Awards in 2016, 2015, 2013), Masters in Miniature (Trailside Gallery, Jackson WY), American Miniatures Show (Settler’s West, Tucson, AZ), Scottsdale Artist's School- Best and Brightest (Best of Show), The Harrisburg PA Art Association (winning Best of Show), and National Oil & Acrylic Painters' Society (Monteverde Award). After living on the East Coast for seven years he moved his family back to the West where he now pursues his fine art career full time. He and his family reside in the small town of Blackfoot, Idaho.

Mr. Spencer values the benefits of plein air painting with all the challenges and joys of working in the open air.  ”Painting on location gives me a chance to see new things, to see different light conditions and to regularly feel the creative juices. When I paint in plein air I see the subtle colors and values of nature that are only possible by first-hand experience.  Photography can not capture those subtleties.”  He also values the steady, measured power of studio painting. Plein air work gives an artist fresh insight into the behavior of light and color but studio work gives time to develop composition and technique not possible in short settings. 

Ken has traveled throughout the western U.S as well as to France, Italy, Germany, England and the Czech Republic to paint on location and gather reference material to paint. He spent time in Paris, Brittany, Normandy, Florence, Venice, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre, Bavaria, Prague and Bohemia. These areas are rich in visual textures and imagery. He spent time painting the small villages, large cites, coastal regions, and the people of Europe. All of these trips have generated many wonderful images and strengthened his abilities as a painter. He continues to travel locally and abroad to search out new inspiration.

* This statement has been provided directly by the artist in association to their 14th International ARC Salon entries. This content has not been edited for typos or grammatical errors and has not been vetted for accuracy.