Featured Artist Ken Bachman

Artist Ken Bachman’s figurative and landscape paintings capture expression, character and the play of light and shadow. Visit his website to see more of his paintings.


Oil Painting portrait of an old farmer by Ken Bachman

“Endurance” Oil, 24″ x 18″


From the time I was nine years old and living in Paris, viewing and creating art has been a passion of mine. This passion was nurtured through high school back in Virginia. But then went into hibernation through college and law school.


Oil painting of a sunset over the town of Asolo, Italy by Ken Bachman

“Asolo Sunset” Oil, 48″ x 30″


During my forty-plus years of law practice, I took up painting watercolors and pastels of landscape scenes during our vacations. Making art full-time remained an unfulfilled desire that I was finally able to start to satisfy once I retired.


Oil painting of sunset over the Bermuda Cove by Ken Bachman

“Bermuda Cove” Oil, 36″ x 36″


After taking a few classes, I enrolled and completed the three-year course in oil painting at the Compass Atelier. I now felt that I was getting somewhere. The focus of the course was modern realism. This spoke directly to my own artistic interest.


Oil painting of a barn in winter by Ken Bachman

“The Barn” Oil, 24″ x 18″


While I have painted a full range of subjects, my two principal loves are landscapes and, more recently, figures. Capturing the specific moment when a scene has a special beauty that will pass if not captured is my muse. Sometimes this is presented by the way in which the light is hitting the features of the buildings and surroundings. For my figurative paintings, sometimes it is based on the fleeting expression of the person.


Oil painting of a saddled horse in front of a row of stalls by Ken Bachman

“Ready to Ride” Oil, 24″ x 18″


Scenes with strong light and shadow are a frequent source of inspiration, such as an archway with light shining through or sunshine hitting the face of an individual. Water figures frequently in my compositions. I love the play of color and light on water and the scenery that is reflected in it. These ever-changing patterns and colors offer me endless inspiration to capture these fleeting scenes of natural beauty.


Oil painting of the view from a window of a Gallery in Washington, DC by Ken Bachman

“Gallery View” Oil, 24″ x 20″


I also find that some of my greatest interest and pleasure in painting comes from painting the shadows and teasing out the subtle colors found in them that give the work a unique perspective. I often draw inspiration from my travels.


Oil painting of several geese walking through a cloister by Ken Bachman

“Geese in the Cloister” Oil, 20″ x 16″


With landscapes, my palette changes with the scene. Sometimes it is more muted such as with snow or foggy scenes; other times it is more vibrant and bold, such as with landscapes in bright sunlight and deep shadow.


Oil painting of the view out into the harbor through the window of a workshop by Ken Bachman

“Harbor Workshop” Oil, 36″ x 24″


I often look for seasonal scenes and enjoy the vivid and varied colors of autumn as well as the softer subtleties and more limited palette of winter. I enjoy varying the elements in a painting to enhance its impact such as the crisp sharpness of a nearby building paired with the softer lines of the more distant landscape. Likewise, I enjoy scenes with interesting sky colors and greater depth that appear when the sun is low in the sky.


Oil painting of the Washington, DC Mall by Ken Bachman

“Evening on the Mall” Oil, 24″ x 18″


As an older artist, I draw inspiration from structures and people that show their age and character, such as an older bridge or an old farmer beside his barn, and perhaps even from those “magic hour” scenes with the sun lower on the horizon.


Oil painting of a wooden foot bridge in the woods inn the fall by Ken Bachman

“Fall Hike” Oil, 60″ x 48″


My objective is always to be exploring something new with what I paint. I try never to repeat what I have learned from painting a particular setting that I have already fully explored. I feel that my desire for new creative inspirations helps to ensure that my art will continue to be fresh and interesting.


Artist Ken Bachman invites you to follow him on Facebook.


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