'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.
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.