Ken Smith Photo Journal



evidence

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evidence 1 & 2 (diptych)


This Sunday, August 2, from 5-7pm, Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Washington www.sunmountainlodge.com will be having a reception in its gallery for four artists, myself included. I am showing eight framed works, a combination of landscapes and still lifes. Not limited to a theme or any particular boundaries, I chose some of my most interesting works.


Evidence 1 & 2 is a diptych that I made years ago but it has always been close to my heart. I told Laura, one of the curators, that in the 24 years I’ve been doing art full-time, Evidence most clearly expresses what I wish my art to be. I find it the most succinct and beautiful of anything I’ve ever done. I’ve felt that before in a new piece, but after a time it fades. Evidence has always been at the pinnacle in my mind’s eye. Strange, to be aware of that, and I continue to look at it and wonder what it has that stuns me.


I remember finding the emaciated branches, down by the stock tank, one early spring day. They had been a plant of some kind, dried and buried in snow all winter, leaves gone, and then, just a line drawing was left. The branches coming off the grey stem were just like tiny strips of paper, but they also were like messages, or musical notes. Each one twisted and reaching a different way, beautiful. I took them back to my studio and went to work. The two stems were only about a foot high each, and I put them in a vase, and they sat on the windowsill for years after. Until, breezes thru the window, time and dry air, they slowly came apart. Looking at the artwork that is left, I love the simplicity, the symmetry and asymmetry, and what they tell me about time. There is something else that intrigues me, but it cannot be put into words – only be shown in a piece of art…instantly recognized but indescribable like a profound mystery.


Evidence 1 & 2, diptych. Pigment ink on cotton printmaking paper. 29″ x 15-1/4″ each. Framed 36″ x 18″ (each).

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

July 31st, 2015 at 8:26 pm

wound

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Wound 1


Wound 2


Wound 3


It may be impossible to reverse engineer the thoughts and feelings that come about while creating. But for this one, it suddenly came before me, or more accurately, behind my eyes on that slate that passes continuously in the mind. It was there, and it intrigued me. It kept returning, as I thought up materials and methods so that I might replicate what I saw in my imagination.


Why this particular image imprinted on my imagination is another conundrum, and one attempts to unravel it. I had stitched closed a gash in my elbow once with button thread and a curved needle. I also had been going through the usual psychological wounds of living life, especially significant at times, though one attempts to brush those very real energies aside. Or maybe it was that I had only recently had my left knee replaced, and soon would have the right knee joint also replaced – all in the space of six months. The scar on my left knee was a river pattern. Maybe those impressions could shine a light on why this image metaphored into my mind? Whatever, wherever it came from, I ‘owned’ it now, and I could choose to bring it to a tangible shape.


I wanted to work with aluminum for its malliability and shine. For a while, I was going to simply paint the ‘flesh’ beneath red on some material, but finally chose peened and raised copper. I found the same curved needle I had used to suture my earlier wound. I learned the proper suturing knot. Then began the tests, the failures, the melding of expectations with what materials and reality finally allows to move into form. All mounted on wood panel. A viewer at the gallery show purchased it the first day it was hung on the wall…a validation of sorts. Of feelings that may be universally felt; of images that symbolize…something to me, and maybe also to someone else.


Wound. Aluminum, copper, mixed media on panel. 24″ x 12″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

June 20th, 2015 at 9:01 pm

sun mountain

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McLaughlin Canyon Tree


Six of my images are part of a group show at Sun Mountain Lodge, in Winthrop, Washington www.sunmountainlodge.com. My selection of floral still lifes and landscapes will be on exhibit into the mid-Summer. Sun Mountain Lodge draws an international clientele to the Methow Valley and the stunning North Cascade Mountains year-round. I am happy to be invited to show at this beautiful location.


McLaughlin Canyon Tree. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 13″ x 20″ image, framed 22″ x 28″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

April 17th, 2015 at 7:02 pm

Posted in Landscape,News

far away

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far away


Far Away. Pigment ink on paper. 26-1/4″ x 20″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

March 19th, 2015 at 9:45 pm

Posted in Flora,Still Life

morning light

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morning light


Morning Light. Pigment ink on cotton printmaking paper. 24″ x 20″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

March 1st, 2015 at 3:24 pm

Posted in Flora,Still Life

valentine vase

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valentine vase


I have been working on this image for some time. It all came together on Valentine’s Day, which is innately significant. This is a gift to myself on that symbolic day, for it represents the feeling of love, love lost & a love for art.


Valentine Vase. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 21-3/8″ x 20″ (other editioned image sizes).

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

February 18th, 2015 at 1:27 pm

Posted in Flora,Still Life

tracery

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Tracery 3


Tracery 2


Another show at my local gallery has opened. At Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington www.confluencegallery.com, artists were asked to interpret the idea of “Tracks”. I chose some imagery that was inspired by the larvae trails beneath the bark on the firewood I put up for the winter heat. I am intrigued by natural forces like erosion, and these serendipitous waunderings with purpose . I question what made these simple insects construct such an intricate and beautifully-unique pattern? I have more in the series that I did not exhibit, and if interested, please contact me. The show opened January 10 and ends February 14. There is a variety of interpretations and mediums in the show, and if you are in the area, I encourage you to stop by.



Tracery 3. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper, on wood panel, varnish. 14″ x 11″.

Tracery 2. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper, on wood panel, varnish. 12″ x 12″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2015 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

January 15th, 2015 at 3:19 pm

Posted in Fauna,News,Still Life

two shows

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Climbers


Winter Lake


Right in the middle of my recovery from a left total knee replacement, two shows opened exhibiting my work. At Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington www.confluencegallery.com, is the show titled, “In the Land of Snow and Indigo”. The winter-themed show is supposed to get us ready for winter, but good luck with that. Who really wants it to come again? Well, the climbers in the top image are enjoying it. The show runs from November 15 to January 20, 2015.


At Bainbridge Arts and Crafts Gallery, on Bainbridge Island, Washington, www.bacart.org, is the show “Doorways: Photographs”. This show runs November 7 to December 1. I am exhibiting four pieces in this show, and one is “Recollection of a Woman in White”, below. This is a great gallery, always well-curated.


Recollection of a Woman in White


The receptions to both these shows were well attended, and there is still plenty of time to stop in and see the work before they close.



Climbers. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 14-5/8″ x 15″ image size, framed 22″ x 22″.

Winter Lake. Carbon Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 21″ x 14-1/2″ image size, framed 28″ x 22″.

Recollection of a Woman in White. Carbon Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 15″ x 15″ image size, framed 26″ x 26″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

November 21st, 2014 at 5:50 pm

Posted in Landscape,News

leave-behind

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Leave-behind


Leave-behind 1 (left) and 2 (right), is a diptych made for a group show at Confluence Gallery in Twisp, Washington. www.confluencegallery.com. The show title is: The Big Sleep. The curators asked artists to discuss with their various mediums their thoughts about things that come to an end, what we call Death. The show, that is scheduled during the Halloween season, ironically also comes after much of the area around the valley where the gallery is located, was devastated by the largest wildfire in Washington State history. The curators did not know of this when they began organizing the show in April. Much of the Summer the valley suffered with loss of homes and property, power outages, and the physical and psychological affects of Loss. The show is bound to reflect those feelings and runs from September 27 – November 8, with the opening reception on Saturday, September 27 from 4 to 8pm.


Each artist was asked to write a one page statement about each of the works. My particular piece comes about from finding a stack of wilted flowers that laid in a trash heap thru one winter, after being discarded by a friend. Using the abandoned flora as metaphor, my work looks at the idea that objects, people, places have spirits that go on long after the physicalness changes form. The work suggests, as does Japanese Shinto belief, that spirit lives in all things, and may continue as long as there is admiration, love, and remembrance. In that context, death or the end of things, is not as finite as one might think. Though these inanimate flowers were forgotten and left behind by one person, my discovery and retained admiration for them, in a sense, brought the spirit within them back to life.


The timely show and its poignant theme promises to bring a lot of good artwork to the gallery, and I hope if you are in the area, you will visit. Many of the artists will be attending the opening reception and the discussion will flow.


Leave-behind 1 & 2. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper, mixed media. 22″ x 16″ image size, framed 28″ x 22″ – each piece.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

September 26th, 2014 at 11:54 am

first lyric

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first lyric


First Lyric. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 27″ x 20″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

July 22nd, 2014 at 8:36 pm

Posted in Flora,Still Life

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