For Ken Howard OBE PPNEAC RA RBA RBSA ROI RWA, painting is about three things. It is about revelation, communication and celebration.
For Ken, painting is about three things. It is about revelation, communication and celebration. By revelation, he means giving people a way of seeing, revealing the world around them in a way they have never seen before, opening their eyes. By communication, he means revealing the world with a personal language, speaking directly in an instantly recognisable style. He wants it to celebrate life whether it be human dignity expressed by Velasquez or Cezanne, or the wonders of nature expressed by Corot and Monet. For Ken his main inspiration is light and it is through light that he wants to celebrate his world.
Method of Working
When Ken is in Cornwall, he paints Monday to Saturday, with a model coming in every morning. Painting is very seldom an easy thing to do. At the start of the day, you are full of belief in the thing you are going to do. If you've had a really bad day, the last thing you want to do is get up and work, but if you've got a model knocking on the door at ten to seven, you've got to get up, and you've got to start work again. As soon as you've got a brush in your hand, after about ten minutes you've got belief again and you think, Yes, it may not have worked yesterday but it’s going to work today. Drawing is the basis of everything. All the way through the painting you must be questioning the drawing, right up to the very end. Otherwise you get the drawing right and fill it in with colour. As long as you get the effect you want, that’s the important thing. You can use a piece of rag, a sable brush, a hog hair brush or a knife - it doesn’t matter what. Paint what you see, not what you know. What you know is not surprising and is very seldom true.