Private collection, United Kingdom
For Howard his studio has become a much loved subject. Brushes, oils and paintings fill the space, spilling over onto every surface. In the background, huge sash windows cast bright natural light into the building revealing Howard’s intimate creative space.
To Ken Howard “painting is as much about sensing as seeing” and it is through light that he wants to celebrate his world. Howard’s strong observation and high degree of draughtsmanship combined with tonal precision and an emphasis on light recreates the calm, homely atmosphere of his studio.
Howard has an enduring association with Cornwall and Mousehole in particular. According to his autobiography, he first discovered Mousehole at the age of 15 on a cycling trip from London to Land’s End. There he encountered what he called ‘the epitome of an artist’ wearing a Borsalino-type hat who turned out to be the artist Nigel Lamborne. It was at this moment whilst looking into Lamborne’s studio that he decided that he would become an artist. Later, he would buy that very workshop.
Howard was born in London in 1932 and studied at Hornsey School of Art from 1949 to 1953, before completing his National Service with the Royal Marines. He then returned to study at the Royal College of Art in 1955, and in the same year held his first solo exhibition at the Plymouth Art Centre. From then on he exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, particularly with the New Grafton Gallery from the early 1970’s. In 1973 he was appointed by the Imperial War Museum to be the official war artist in Northern Ireland.
Howard gradually became known for his skill in capturing light so vividly with both oil and watercolour, as he was able to capture the atmosphere of a scene perfectly. As we
can see he has travelled widely painting life and nature everywhere he went, with superb honesty and accuracy, demonstrating this magical understanding of light, often found in works by artists like J.M.W. Turner
Throughout his artistic career, Howard has won a number of major awards and gained memberships to a variety of prestigious organisations. He was elected as a member of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1966, the Royal West of England Academy in 1981 and became an honorary member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1988. Continually exhibiting at the Royal Academy since 1964, Howard was elected as a Royal Academician in 1991 and became President of the New English Art Club in 1998.
Among his numerous awards are the First Prize in the Lord Mayor’s Art Award in 1966, first prize in the Hunting Group Awards and the Critics Prize at Sparkasse Karlsruhe, Germany in 1985. He now divides his time between his studios in Cornwall and London. His work can be found in many private and public collections, including the Imperial War Museum and Plymouth City Art Gallery.
If the artwork is up to £25,00 in value, and the artist is still alive, Trinity House can arrange a 0% interest loan through the Own Art scheme. Own Art is a Creative United initiative supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Some other restrictions apply see…
Exhibited May 1989
Oscar and Peter Johnson Limited