Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ken Auster

 'Into The Light'
by Ken Auster


Somewhere in 2003,  I was on my 24th year running a frame shop with no other future plans but to keep on doing what I knew how to do.  In my off hours, I'd look at art on the web, mostly to sell in my gallery and I landed on the artist Ken Auster.

Mind you, I had never painted in oils, never really painted much at all - I was a drawing freak since I was a kid.  When I saw what and how Ken Auster painted, something sparked a flame inside of me.  For years I framed trendy stuff - cottages, florals, quirky Amish scenes, etc - none of which ever convinced me to join the painting world until I saw Ken's work.  There were everyday, simple moments - glimpses of people, colorful city streets, surfers at the beach - real life that's all around us.

What really grabbed my attention was his style of quick, deliberate brush strokes that meant something - nothing more needed to get the point across.  It was the first time I'd ever heard the phrase 'economy strokes'.  It was impressionistic, never over-done and it made me want to paint.

The end of 2003, I'd taught myself how to work with oils, took photos everywhere I went, and that was the beginning of my life as an artist.


 'Lunch Hour'
by Ken Auster
 
 
I bookmarked a gallery that Ken Auster was part of back in 2003, kept up with his new work, and sometime around 2007, that very gallery contacted me about representation - the Morris & Whiteside Gallery in Hilton Head (now The Red Piano).  The first thing I said to Ben Whiteside was 'isn't this the gallery who has Ken Auster's work?'.   Needless to say, I was floored - quickly accepted Ben's invitation and I've been part of his gallery ever since - with my paintings hanging next to Ken's.  Holy cow.

I know Ken knew his impact on my life and although we never met, I knew him through his paintings.

Ken passed away yesterday I'm told, way too soon.  This is my small tribute to a brilliant artist who lives on through his work.
 





12 comments:

patti mollica said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Karin. We will all miss him very much

Elizabeth McCrindle said...

I've followed your blog for as long as I discovered blogs and I'm a great admirer of your work. Today's blog struck a cord and brought a tear to my eye, thank you for sharing. It's true artists will forever live on through their work...

Barbara Andolsek Paintings said...

Ken Auster has always been one of my very favorite artists ever. The first time I saw his work in person was at The Pageant of the Masters. I stood in front of a huge painting and was transfixed for who knows how long. I had to be pulled away quite literally. I checked out the rest of his 'in person' works and went back to stand in front of the huge painting again. Couldn't believe my eyes. Bought a book of his works so I could continue to gaze on my own time. I am very saddened to hear he is no longer with us. Very sad indeed. Stay well Karin.

Sarah Wimperis said...

Thats a lovely tribute Karin, and his work is very beautiful.

Linda Nickles said...

A beautiful tribute, Karin. I have your paintings hanging next to the single one by Ken Auster that I own. It seemed like they belong together. Thank you.

Amy said...

Perfectly stated tribute to a wonderful artist. Thank you.

John Healey said...

Ken was a wonderful man and amazing artist. He touched countless lives with his intellect, passion, and good humor. There aren't many men like Ken. He will be deeply missed.

Diane Bassett said...

Karin I am such a fan of yours and Ken Auster was my favorite. I'm not surprised -- but very pleased-- to learn of his role in your own inspiration. I am in shock to learn of his death. He was so talented and his work was thrilling. Such a terrible loss for this world.

Johnna Schelling said...

Thank you for sharing this story - lovely commentary. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I am just now discovering Ken's art (and adoring fans)!

Leez Garlock said...

...interestingly, you have had the same impact on me. My sister, Anita Beaty, first introduced your work to me and I was inspired. I bought the easel, a pizza pan, took my acrylics out of storage (most needed replacing) and I am painting almost every day. Karin, you are my inspiration.

Theresa Grillo Laird said...

Really nice tribute Karin. I hadn't heard the sad news.

lael henderson said...

That was a very nice tribute to Ken that illustrates the power of art to move people.
I know that your art has done that for me. I have watched your work closely for 10 years, and it has been a pleasure.