Ken Marsden's painting style is fairly realistic, but his paintings stop short of showing precise detail. They are a blend of realism and impressionism using traditional transparent watercolor techniques. Ken tries to create paintings that allow you to lose yourself in them and want to return to them many times. If he achieves that your mind will generate your own interpretation and the painting will have a message, but it will be your message not his.
Ken Marsden Artist Statement: My serious interest and training in art started at a very early age when Chicago artist Gordon Martin 'discovered' me in the 1940's. The youthful training by and exposure to his wide range of art and graphics was unique and continued up to when I graduated from high school. But alas, when I reached 18 my interests wandered and I obtained a degree in Business Management from the University of Illinois after a stint in the U.S. Army and 6 years as as an engineering draftsman and illustrator for the Savanna Ordnance Depot.
All of this served me well in the marketing jobs I held with several corporations. I became a Vice President and eventually President of several national companies.
In the end my love of art won out and for some years now I have devoted my self to art, especially watercolor, and more recently, sculpture. My work at this writing is handled by seven galleries. Michigan galleries include Mullaly's 128 in Elk Rapids, East Ludington Gallery, Escanaba, and Northwoods Wildlife Gallery, Menominee. I am also in galleries in Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas.
My paintings are not for the purpose of providing a social message. The subjects are chosen because they allow or provide for some painting challenge; e.g., unusual composition, perspective, coloring or movement and tension, all the while resulting in a nice picture.
Emphasis is on nice picture. For what is the point of the artistic challenge if the resulting painting is not in good taste and enjoyable. Although this philosophy is not for all, 'shock value' is no justification for my school of painting. Like most things in life, we are well advised to concentrate our energies on what is 'good' and not just on what is possible.
This still leaves plenty of room for expression and creativity, at least for me.
I have always been reluctant to use the term self taught which seems to me is at once the very highest compliment and yet carries a derogatory implication.
Certainly, until one gets to a level of accomplishment that is capable of producing one's very own work, free of all dictates except those which one has truly made his own, or inherently has within his soul, then he is not an accomplished artist. Yet the term conveys to many that the artist has not been exposed to the teachings and rigors assumed necessary for the qualification to be a 'true' artist.
The term in my case seems a denial of the fine teaching and great influences with which I have been blessed so we are back to res ipsa loquitur ( the thing [art] speaks for itself ).