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Meet the Artist
Ken Head and the transparency and flow of Watercolour
- Written by Vanessa Champion Vanessa Champion
The Strathmore Artist Papers award for best Composition at the SGFA Draw 19 exhibition went to Ken Head. The show always celebrates the most amazing artists, we chat to Ken to find out more about the winning piece and his inspiration.
Can you tell us about the winning image? What inspired you? What media and why you chose that subject?
The viewpoint was the Spinnaker Tower restaurant. It was late afternoon, the setting sun reflecting into the water produced the delicate tracery pattern of jetties and boats of the Marina at Gosport, while reducing all other detail to an almost flat tone of grey. I found this most attractive and an ideal subject for a watercolour, with the two yachts entering the harbour producing a sense of movement.
Which media do you use most? Has this always been your choice, if yes or no what is it about the media you work in that works for you?
These days I work mostly in Watercolour but I have, in earlier years, used Oils, Pastels and Acrylics and I use Graphite for quick sketches. For me though, Watercolour works perfectly. I love the transparency, flow and subtlety of the medium, ideal notably to depict British landscape, but Mediterranean subjects as well. Also for working on-site and for getting into the tiniest details.
Is it the sea that inspires you? Gosport is an interesting place. It has a naval heritage?
Yes, in fact it is one of my favourite subjects, along with everything associated with it - Ports, Harbours, Boats, Ships, Coastlines, Creeks etc. I am, however also interested in Landscapes, Town and Cityscapes and occasionally Still Life. I do not have a military background, just serving my two-year stint of National Service with the RAF in the 1950’s.
Do you have a favourite place you work from?
In my younger days, I worked almost exclusively en-plein-air but now prefer the studio where I can consider what I am doing more easily in a quieter environment. So what would a typical day creating look like? I attend Drawing Days with the SGFA and also, being a member of Croydon Art Society, I attend their ‘Practical Evenings’ which consist of Life Drawing, Portrait Model and Still Life sessions. Otherwise I paint at home, catching up on sketches, photos and other material gathered over time, sometimes ‘revisiting’ old subject matter with a fresh eye.
Are you inspired by other Artists?
Well, aren’t we all? In my case, Constable, Turner, Corot, The Impressionists, Edward Seago, Ken Howard come to mind.
A series of Venice, familiar and unfamiliar. It is a place I have visited often over the last fifty years and certainly has not lost its attraction.
And finally a fun question, if you were a Strathmore paper which one would you be?
How can I answer that ? The paper I have chosen maybe. After all, the materials you use are part of you !
[Ken chose our Strathmore Gemini Paper]