Artist’s books are becoming more popular in gallery after gallery that I visit. What better way to get your collection of paintings out to people who admire your work? Hey, if your wall space is limited, just remember you can pile a coffee table high with books, AND they look equally as good stacked on the floor! The painting on the cover is entitled ELECTRIC COMPANY and it’s one of my favorites! It’s the reds that do it for me, it’s vivid and sharp. I love it! If you’re in San Francisco pop into the Thomas Reynolds Gallery and take a peek at Ken’s work! If you’re interested in a book, click HERE, the book is $35 and is signed by the artist.
Here’s a blip from the book:
|‘A Turning Point in My Life’|
|ONE DAY I WAS INVITED to go out with a few friends and paint on location at a local beach. Using an old easel and a few tubes of oil paint left over from college painting classes, I set up and started painting what I saw. The experience was a turning point in my life. Here was the bare bones of art — no process and minimal equipment, just a burst of passion and paint, with immediate results and gratification. It just happened and it was beautiful.A year and probably 200 paintings later, I was ready to get feedback from people other than my friends. I looked north to San Francisco. For me, San Francisco has always been a kind of Disneyland for adults. My first adventure there was in 1967 during the Summer of Love. There’s still a Jefferson Airplane poster on the wall in my studio. So during another trip to the happiest place on earth, I thought I would stop at a few galleries with some transparencies and see if I could get some response from the big guys. I didn’t ask to exhibit; I just wanted their opinions of my work. Surprisingly enough, most took the time to look and I got consistently positive responses.The last stop on this spontaneous gallery tour was the Thomas Reynolds Gallery, in a classic Victorian flat a few steps from Fillmore Street, a series of small rooms showing mostly small paintings, each one hanging with room to breathe. I presented my slides — and the owner wanted to see more. It was at that moment I realized that a good gallery was really interested in my work. A few weeks later we scheduled my first show. My original vision was to paint landscapes of Northern California — trees, rocks, ocean and hills, but no city. That first show sold out. So did the second and third. It was the mid-90’s at the height of the plein air painting renaissance and I was right in the middle of it all, painting many of the small towns along the California coast. I won top prizes at the plein air events that were cropping up, and the surfer-turned-painter story was picked up by several art magazines.
Then came another moment that again changed my direction as a painter. I was driving in San Francisco on California Street late in the afternoon heading into the belly of the city — a straight shot downhill punctuated by intersections and cross traffic with red taillights glued loosely together at the bottom. I stopped at a red light and just stared for a moment at this incredible concrete grand canyon. I grabbed my camera and started taking pictures, circling the block and hoping to hit every red light. Everywhere I looked was a painting. Artists are always looking for the moment that is the catalyst for the next painting — that flicker of gold. I had found the mother lode.
— from Ken Auster: Intellect & Passion