This Month's Artist Exhibition


February 2017


Meet The Artist Mixer

Friday ~ February 3, 2017 ~ 7pm-9pm

Ken Graning, Artists Statement 

I have heard it said that the eyes are a window to the soul. It therefore follows that an artists paintings are a window to their soul. In this exhibition of my paintings, you will find no images of flower strewn pathways leading to a beach side country cottage with a glowing god light emanating from the windows. No happy trees or big eyed children. No crying clowns or black velvet Elvis paintings. What you will find is a conscious attempt to avoid banality and reveal my view of this amazing planet that we are all passengers on. Welcome to my soul. 

There are about ninety five original paintings in this art exhibition and most of them have been painted within the past two years. There are a few earlier paintings included in that total that I have dusted off to give the show some historical context and to put things in perspective (pun intended). I have also included some of my digital experimentations that I consider to be paintings, even though they have been executed using digital software programs such as Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Adobe Dimensions. 

My traditional paintings are painted with Oils, Acrylics or Gouache (opaque watercolor) on a variety of working surfaces, mainly Arches board, museum board, masonite, and canvas. I am drawn to the landscape genre as subject matter because I am endlessly fascinated by the shapes, forms, and colors that exist on planet earth. I consider myself to be a post impressionistic realist painter. Every painting is site specific meaning that it is a specific location that I have visited in my travels. My work is idiosyncratic in the sense that even though my styles and subject matter may vary dramatically there are common threads that tie it all together. 

Some of my most recent landscape paintings have been painted using Google earth screen shots as reference material. I have discovered that when surfing the planet on my computer using the Google earth app that some rather strange distortions would occur when I “zoomed down” to street view on a specific location. Literal objects like buildings, mountains, roads, cars and sometimes even people would distort into a cubist form of imagery that I found fascinating. Using these screen shots as reference has led to a new series of “Google Earth” paintings that I believe have validity as an art form. Stay tuned, there will be more of these to come. 

There are also some abstract paintings on display that occurred when my muse saw a fork in the road and took it. As usual, I followed. This resulted in a series of paintings with no identifiable subject matter but some unusual surface techniques. 

There are also a few examples of a collage technique that I have experimented with over the years that are comprised of found objects, various types of art papers and some digital transfer images all combined using a rather elaborate transfer technique. 

If you are interested in excruciatingly detailed biographical data about my background and career you can visit me on the following web sites: 

Or you can just type my name into the Google search field on your smart phone or computer. I have the internet covered like a blanket. I really love the 21st century...except when I don’t


Ken Graning Biography

In 1966 Ken graduated from Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles California, with a BFA, majoring in Illustration. This prestigious Art Institute has since morphed into the California Institute of Arts. Ken has worked as an Illustrator-painter since that time. His work has appeared in Playboy magazine, Time, Life, Saturday Evening post, Readers Digest, Realms of Fantasy, Science Fiction Age, Discover magazine, Car & Driver, Sports Illustrated, Architectural Digest, National Geographic, numerous trade publications, corporate annual reports, brochures, posters, newspaper ads, school textbooks, countless advertising campaigns, record album and CD covers and virtually every form of applied Art imaginable, including murals on the walls of public buildings and restaurants.

He has exhibited extensively and won his share of awards in shows such as the New York Society of Illustrators, New York Art Directors Club, Detroit Art Directors Club, Detroit Graphic Artists Guild, Chicago Art Directors Club, Cleveland Art Directors Club, The One Show, The Detroit Scarab Club and many others. He has also exhibited in the National Parks Academy ?Arts in the Parks? top 100, and held one man shows at the Start Gallery in Birmingham Mich., Lawrence Institute of Technology School of Architecture and Design Gallery in Southfield MI, Saginaw Valley State University Gallery, Aurora Borealis Gallery in Aurora Indiana, Gull Lake Gallery in Gull Lake Michigan, Paint Creek Center for the Arts in Rochester Michigan, Daugherty Gallery at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale Michigan, and the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Assoc. In the summer of 2005 Ken opened his own gallery at his home in Holly, Michigan.

From 1976 to 2000 Ken served on the adjunct faculty of the College for Creative Studies in Detroit, teaching Advertising Illustration, Editorial Illustration, Experimental Illustration, Fantasy illustration, Airbrush Illustration, Materials and Techniques, and Digital Illustration. He has also taught painting and digital art at the Birmingham Bloomfield Art Assoc. in Birmingham MI.

In 1995 Ken began experimenting with digital images, created using Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dimensions and a few other software programs. Examples of his digital work can be seen on his web sites listed below.

In 1995 Ken left the Illustration business to devote full time to painting. Working in Gouache and oils, he has focused on landscapes, animal themes and occasionally abstract themes for subject matter. The landscape paintings are site specific and many of them are painted ?plein Air? on location and are therefore representative of real locations on planet earth.

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Monday and Tuesday 10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Wednesday - Friday 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Huron Valley Council for the Arts
205 West Livingston Road
Highland, MI 48357


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