Ken Smith Photo Journal



Archive for the ‘Flora’ Category

simple

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simple pleasure 1


Finally something to show. This is one in a series I have as a working title, Simple Pleasure. The series title might change as I go forward with the other images in the series.


As I begin again working in the studio, I have returned to something I know, that is familiar to me. I had collected some dried specimens as autumn came down on the land last year. They have waited while I looked at them on the tabletop in the studio, not sure where they were taking me. This often happens, and an initial idea may get overruled, with some space and time.


At least I am once again moving, thinking of ideas and series. Even seeing what materials can do for me, seems alien, for I have been away from my work for so long. I approach my life now as mysteriously fresh, unknown, and adventurously strange.


Simple Pleasure 1. Pigment ink on cotton printmaking paper. 20″ x 20″ image size. Edition of 15. Other edition sizes available.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2017 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

March 30th, 2017 at 6:41 pm

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

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

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

the sketch

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Prairie Smoke


The Prairie Smoke is a wildflower that appears every year in my area. I love their wispy ways. I have worked with them many times before. This time, I have chosen them against a black background, tall and narrow. I have seven images so far, and am wondering now, if I have a new series taking shape?


At this point in the creative process, it is difficult to know if the supposed series is real or brief playfulness. A flirting with my love for this shape, and the fragile emotions that appear, may be as fickle as a brief time in a season. I mistrust my ability to edit my feelings for the work. A series is a commitment, each image needing to flow, cohesive and of equal quality. More of a book, than a single haiku. So, I think of each image as a sketch. Title-less. I work with them as individuals, and let them stand alone for a time and distant, till I can look at them with the cold eye of a stranger. Then, maybe they will seem to work, to fit together. And I will say they are then a series, and find a name for them, and begin the process of turning sketches into finished work.


Prairie Smoke (working title).

copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

June 13th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

mayo clinic

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Brazil Flower 2


Four of my Brazil Flower series have been purchased into the collection of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. I am pleased to have my work included in their collection which is used in the healing arts.


Brazil Flower 2. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 24″ x 20″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2011 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

April 22nd, 2014 at 10:11 am

Posted in Flora,News,Still Life

revealed flower

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revealed flower 4


A new series is taking shape – Revealed Flower series.


Revealed Flower 4. Pigment ink print on cotton printmaking paper. 20″ x 20″.

image copyright © Ken Smith 2014 all rights reserved.

Written by Ken Smith

April 7th, 2014 at 9:25 pm

Posted in Flora,Still Life

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