Ken Cudmore

I come from a family of accomplished painters, but that was not me. I could definitely distinguish good art from lesser art, but I never imagined that painting would interest me or that I would have the talent to actually create it. That changed one Friday night in 2012 when I viewed some online poppy photos from Belgium. I was inexplicably filled with confidence and a drive that I could and should paint them. My first painting was something like 40” x 30”. By painting that size, I was already breaking from painting conventions, but it was also freeing and loose.

Thereafter, I just started to paint my feelings and shied away from the rigour of reference material- I wanted it to come from my imagination and paint what I felt. I was very surprised to find at calm, tranquil moments, that my head was filled with wave after wave of colours and ideas that flashed by; similar to watching a video at high speed. I couldn’t remember or absorb them all, they just flowed. I felt like a pump being primed. You will also note that my painting styles are diverse. I like to experiment.
I painted over 100 paintings in the first two years before I attended my first workshop. I have since taken a multitude of workshops. Of course, I found the ‘rules’ to be disruptive, but informative. I still like many of my paintings that do not conform to all the rules.

So how do I paint?
I turn on my music, it is calming and rhythmic. And just start to paint and see where it takes me. I start with large free strokes with either a palette knife or a wide brush. For me, a typical painting has heavy paint which gives definition and dimension to the painting. Sometimes I think I will paint a mountain scape and I end up painting the ocean. There is always something in the combination of colours that speaks to me, something in the sky or on the land. It is as if the painting is already there, I just have to find and complete it.

I believe every painting has an ‘essence’ and that essence must be translated in one seating. If the essence is not present in that first session, then it will be a different painting, sometimes not even close to what was first painted. That means I have to get my ideas out there on the board/canvas quickly. It needs to be fresh and alive.
You will note that I love blues. But also yellow, orange and red. I love to paint the magic of the sky.
For me, the painting is not about ‘objects or things’, it is about feelings and beauty. It is more about what the colours will evoke in the viewer, the feeling, the mood.

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