Art Furniture/Oil Paintings/Monotype Prints
I was born in 1946 in Chanute, Kansas a rural community of approximately 10000 people. I was not considered artistic as a child but I was gifted as an athlete, good hand eye coordination, which is beneficial being an artist. The only other artist in our family was my grandmother who was a gifted quilter.
I earn my living from making art; I primarily work in four mediums, oil paint, printmaking, collage construction and what I call art furniture. The furniture is mainly wood construction, I design and build each piece, I enjoy the challenge of building something that is not only beautiful but also functional. After earning my BFA in sculpture from Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas I was employed in the furniture manufacturing industry, where I developed my technical and aesthetic skills for furniture making. I also developed problem solving skills, which are similar to the problems of solving different elements of a painting or print or collage, only the materials change, not the aesthetic values or the problems of composition and all the rest.
My studio and creative environment! I live and work on a one- acre ranch, because in Texas you need a ranch. My studio is 1600 sq. ft., half for woodworking and half for painting. The house, (separate from the studio), and the studio are on a hill overlooking the Guadalupe River, six miles from Hunt, Texas population 2300 kind souls. We have a Post Office and we have The Hunt Store. The Store has groceries, burgers, beer, wine, gas, banking, bait, tavern, restaurant and live music on Sunday afternoon. The Store motto is no dancing on the tables and no eating off the floor, you can get a T-shirt with the motto, if you need it. I live 20 miles west of Kerrville, which is 60 miles west of San Antonio, which is 60 miles south of Austin, Texas, which is high tech and music. About 20 miles outside of San Antonio and about 30 miles from my house is Bandera, Texas the cowboy capital of the world. The only difference between an Austin, techno geek and a Bandera cowboy is that the cowboy has a tooled leather holster for his cell phone. All I can say is that the creative environment is stimulating, interesting, varied and with nature all around, all you have to do is put brush to canvas and let it rip.
Academic background! I have a Fine Arts Degree, emphasis, sculpture from Wichita State University. I studied printmaking at the Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas and I have studied painting at the Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, Texas, with New York, artist Jack Ramsey a contemporary and student of Leo Mansoe and Esteban Vicente. Probably the most important thing I¹ve learned from the early training was to work everyday, always carry a sketchbook and study art history with a passion.
I participate in workshops and I have been asked to do a printmaking workshop in 2002. I participate in artist groups and organizations, locally, regionally and nationally. continued
The groups I work with locally are, Hill Country Arts Foundation, member, Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, Board Member and Curator of Shows, Friday Painters, group that paints together on Friday, Printmakers Guild, print together monthly.
Regionally, Texas Sculpture Association, inactive, Texas Mesquite Association, I do one furniture show a year, First Frontier Collage Society, participate in shows. Nationally I¹m a member of Glass Artist Association, inactive, National Collage Society, participate in shows. I also participate in art competitions all over the nation. The reason I participate in all these groups is because I enjoy being with and working with artistic and creative people. I think it is important to be involved with the community and with a community of artists. I derive a lot of satisfaction while working with other artists, whether it is making art, planning shows or drinking wine and discussing art theory, being involved is what makes my art better everyday. I work at making art everyday.
The creative process for me is just that, a process, the process of getting up in the morning and having coffee and working in my sketchbook. The working out of ideas, which seem to come easily as the pencil, makes interesting marks on the paper. I usually just start making lines which turn into shapes which create space and that turns into a drawing and that into something new that has never existed before. The creating of something new that has never existed before is very important to me. I never build anything that I know exactly what the out come will be. If it exists in my mind or on paper, like a blueprint, then it already exists and not really worth doing again. So for me the process of doing the deed is what makes making art exciting and stimulating. The excitement of only having a vague idea of what the painting is going to look like when its finished. And the fun of mixing the paint and applying thick and thin layers, try to help the painting do what it wants to do. Sometimes you agree with the painting and other times you have no idea what its trying to say or be. The thrill of working for hours and hours and then realizing and knowing that you have created a good painting, with emotion and feeling, that is very exciting.
The basic process of trial and error, the use of acquired skills and capitalizing on the mistakes of being human is away of creating art work that is distinctly your own creation. I work in basically four mediums, painting, printmaking, collage and woodworking. Each medium has its own distinct characteristics, my approach is to be as open and investigative as possible, not unlike a scientist would approach a project, one thing leads to another and another, then maybe something new and creative will develop. The greatest compliment that I ever received as an artist was from a lady, that knows art, she said to me about my work, I've never seen anything likes this before. Only happened to me one time. continued
After saying all of that, I guess what it comes down to, is be observant, be open to new possibilities and go forth with a caring heart.
What is difficult about being an artist? Never, never under estimate the bad taste or the ignorance about art of the general public. My point is that most people in the world could have an original piece of art, or they can go to Wal-Mart, you know which they choose.
Artists role in society! The most important people in our societies are artist, scientist, and farmers, then come teachers. Without artist and scientist the world would have no new ideas nor would they have any idea how to react to the feelings or concepts they did happen to have, we would be reduced to just another element in the food chain. When you say you're an artist you take on a responsibility of being an artist, a responsibility to past artists and to future artists. Just because you can draw an apple doesn't make you an artist, an artist works with feeling and investigative fortitude, taking risks and trying something new, the exciting thing about being an artist is looking around the corner to see what's coming up next. Maybe if your lucky you will make a shape or a line, which creates a space, which when seen creates a feeling, in a scientist, who creates a compound that cures some ill of humanity.
The process of living and making art is all in a day's work for me, it all just kind of runs together. I think, I cannot just turn creativity on and off, I don't just observe one object or event and feel creative. I believe for me, that being creative and art minded, is always at work, whether I'm drawing, painting, printing or just observing the world around me, art is on my mind. Art is a process of the mind, and the mind can work really fast, faster than a person can materially build objects, but what the mind cannot predict are the abnormalities and mistakes that take place, when working with the varied materials and processes. For me that is, the real beauty of doing the work and that is probably why I tend to lean towards abstraction. Abstraction gives me the freedom to roam around in my imagination and experiment with the mediums, which gives my subconscious an opportunity to develop and express itself. When all this happens at once, this is when I have a really good chance of getting a really good work of art. It's like an athlete being in the zone, when you're in the zone some other power has taken over. What I think takes over is the subconscious mind and by letting it guide the work through my conscious mind, the hand has a better than even chance of making great art. I believe that the great art masters were in this zone, when they created their master works. Not the everyday pieces that they produced only the masterpieces. Now weather the inspiration came from god or nature or love or just working everyday, which gives more opportunity for the deed to happen. Each artist has his own way, mine is to observe god, nature, love and work at it everyday.
For more information, see KenMalson.com
The photographs shown here are by no means a comprehensive inventory of the works we currently have for sale by this artist. They are meant merely as a representative cross-section of this artist's creations. Also, not all pieces shown here are necessarily still available. Each piece is an original one-of-a-kind artwork. Once it is sold, it is gone for good. If you are interested in more information about this particular artist and the works we currently have available, please
Ken Malson, Hunt, Texas - Art Furniture, Oil Paintings, Prints and Collages