Q+A: Ken Knight


How would you describe yourself as an artist?

I am a landscape artist committed to painting en plein air. I love the freedom and challenge of responding directly to nature. On a typical painting trip, I will paint for a week and paint all day.

What initially compelled you to start practising?

I have enjoyed drawing and painting from an early age, and the act of painting now defines who I am. If I don’t paint for an extended period I feel incomplete. Nearly 40 years ago I resigned from a permanent job to pursue this passion.

How does each work begin?

I first put thought into the size and shape of the canvas I will use – I have a saw in the back of my mobile studio (a Toyota Troop carrier) which comes in very handy. Using a fan brush I sketch the basic design and start painting immediately and quickly. I fine tune the painting back in the studio. It may be there for months or even years before I start revising it.

What are you working on at the moment?

For 12 months I have been working towards an exhibition at Wentworth Gallery in mid-June of this year. Many of the paintings in the show have been in the studio for many years – this gives the exhibition more depth, veracity and diversity compared to paintings drawn from a limited time period.

What is the message you hope to convey with your art?

Landscape painting has had a strong and enduring tradition in Australian art. I hope that my paintings convey some of the truth, integrity and beauty found in the landscape.

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