Intro to Collection 2
Updated: Dec 9, 2021
This 2nd collection of work, "through the wilderness," was created between October and December of 2021, using a combination of alcohol markers and/or watercolor paints, then finished with ink. Each includes a first glimpse of water after a long, strange journey.
A bit more about each piece can be found below. —Ken
1. "pink slopes"
These first 3 pieces build on materials used in the first collection: deeply saturated gradients courtesy of Copic alcohol markers and Winsor & Newton cool-grey promarkers, then finished with pressure-sensitive Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens.
Often fantastic or surreal, this collection of work builds off a wealth of reference photos taken of the Sonoma Coast over the years. Everything's just... a bit extra.
One of the most personal pieces in this collection, second only to that final two-piece. The feeling of breathing life into something you'd left behind years ago.
3. "very arched rock"
A queer take on a Sonoma County landmark, following up on a more naturalistic take in Collection 1. I feel like this weird rock.
4. "taste the rainbow"
My first set of watercolors was a Super 8 Palette from Beam Paints, a female-led company up in the M'Chigeeng First Nation of Ontario. This piece uses that 8-color palette exclusively.
Working with watercolors felt like an oddly natural progression from using brush-tip alcohol markers. These next three pieces are the first watercolor-focused ones available (piece 13 of Collection 1 used a little for the ocean).
5. "strawberry shortcake"
As a closeted queer dude growing up in coal country, I didn't get to properly embrace an early love of pink "girly" stuff. Or any number of other things. That color's mine now.
6. "huckleberry hills"
Final watercolor-only piece of this initial group. I'd ordered new watercolor paintstones from Beam, and was particularly excited to work with their Blueberry Mountain purple.
Back home, we had huckleberries.
7. "out of the woods"
We've been through so much insane, twisted shit the past few months, years, decades (pick your timeframe)... And it's really, really hard to pick your head back up sometimes.
It's really, really hard to believe this world isn't completely fucked up.
This is my first piece fully combining alcohol markers and watercolor paints. Wanted to get at the contrast between that smothering lost feeling and what lies beyond it.
8. "we are all particles, we are all waves"
My first publicly shown piece, created for Petaluma Arts Center's 2021 Members Exhibition. Largest piece to date (9"x12"), making use of everything I've learned so far.
Copic alcohol markers and multiliner pens, Beam Paints watercolors, and hard- and soft-tip Tombow Fudenosuke brush pens. The trees sparkle from mica.
9. "hidden lake"
In the midst of making this collection, I was contacted by Beam Paints, and they offered to send me some other paints to try out. They ended up sending a full set.
Made this piece while running a variety of color tests on some Arches watercolor paper I've fallen in love with; the latter half of this collection features their hot- and cold-press paper.
One paint (Beam Wintery Nights) + one ink (Tombow Fudenosuke hard-tip brush pen).
10. "fresh greens"
A commission piece for family in Japan, celebrating the new year.
Technically the last work started in this collection, as #11 was finished over a few weeks. Watercolors and ink, plus a wee bit of white Posca art marker for tree sparkles.
11. "water spirit"
Third iteration of a two-part design, the earlier two featured in Collection 1. The culmination of a collection dedicated to regrowth. Mostly watercolors, plus a dash of hot-pink Copic.
A water spirit awakening.