Ken Bonner was first inspired to paint in England in the late 1960’s.
Genetics played a part in his development as an artist. Both of his parents showed talent in their respective artistic endeavours; his father through paint and graphic design and his mother through textile art. In his early years of creative adventures Ken became smitten with wildlife photography. He spent many years visiting Southern Africa photographing the exhilarating landscapes and wildlife. His senses were in awe of this visually rich experience, and it has continued to influence the expression of his creativity.
International travel, career and a new family changed Ken’s focus. He settled permanently with his family in New Zealand in 1982. During this period a high level corporate career took him away from actively pursuing his passion for art although it continued to simmer within. His desire to paint eventually broke through again and in 2003 whilst living in the Bay of Islands, NZ, Ken once again picked up his brushes. He has pursued art fulltime, and professionally since then. While in New Zealand, 2003-2006, Ken held seven solo exhibitions. He displayed at many Northland /Auckland galleries and with extensive media coverage and critical acclaim. He was fortunate to have sold all works produced there.
On a ‘whim’ Ken went to Mexico for a ‘blind date’. ‘It worked’. He moved there in 2006 and married, Patricia, a wonderful Australian adventurer, who was running her own B & B in La Paz, Baja Sur. The rich beauty and colour of the Baja provided fantastic inspiration for painting and helped Ken develop his technique significantly. He was fortunate enough to have the Tres Virgenes Gallery in the centre of La Paz, dedicated exclusively to his work. He produced many commissions and large works during this period mostly sold to an appreciative Northern American and European market.
After he and Patricia moved to the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia in 2010, Ken continued his passion of painting in the rich and varied environment of the sub-tropics. Ken found the Australian landscape and wildlife to be immediately inspiring, so full of new stimulus, lush colour, amazing energy and light.
His initial focus was to produce a body of work based on local flora, fauna, landscapes; abstract and contemporary. Ken Bonner held solo exhibitions in Australia- in Noosaville; QLD, December 2010, followed soon after by a solo exhibition at the State funded Tablelands Regional Gallery. Five galleries throughout Queensland represented Ken Bonners work.
Ken has also exhibited his work at The Broadway Gallery New York in 2011.
An exhibition at the Asia Contemporary Art Show in Hong Kong during 2013 proved both exciting and successful. This show introduced the Asian market to the art of Ken Bonner. Many invitations to show his work in other Asian cities followed including China, Singapore, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, USA and Italy.
During an exploratory visit to Santa Fe in 2012 Ken became impassioned to explore and capture in oils the colors and light in the subjects and scenery of the South West. The light and color is stunning and the country as enchanting as its reputation.
Ken and Patricia returned to Australia and made their plans to move to Santa Fe which was finally achieved in November 2013. After arriving in Santa Fe, Ken could be seen wandering the streets, hillsides and trails, while muttering and observing, “the light, the light”, apparently a common exclamation of most artists when first experiencing the clarity of light, shadows and dimensions created at this high altitude of Santa Fe.
The new stimulus of the Southwest and the nearby Colorado Plateau was inspiring, and resulted in the creation of works related to the local environment; new ways of using color, technique, style and subject matter to capture the essence and uniqueness of this area. It was an exciting time for this artist – to explore more deeply into his creativity through new inspiration, and in sharing this with clients, supporters as well as with a new audience.
Whilst in the USA Ken participatedin many of the leading juried fine art festivals. These included :- Worldwide art in Los Angeles, Art Expo in New York, Cherry Creek Denver, The Woodlands Houston, Palm Springs, Malibu, Austin, Dallas, Scotsdale and many more.
Now back in Australia and based in the Fleurieu peninsular near Adelaide. New stimulus aplenty – rolling hills, woodlands, cliff edged beautiful beaches and outstanding wine country. One inspiration after another! where to start ? Pump up the music and let the painting begin.
Ken Bonners approach and style is distinct and unique. His style has been described as “impressionistic realism”. Each piece produced is highly original and is a creation which evolves during many layers of application. The artist starts with a vision and then allows the concept to take on its own life. The aim is to stimulate and please the eye through composition and colour impact. The works are predominantly in oils. Big canvas gives a means to impact and express subjects in a powerful way through vibrant colour and technique, although smaller canvas also offers its own rewards in impact and expression. Fun and enjoyment as well as a deep expression and passion for his art, continues to provide challenges to create art work that is uniquely meaningful to the observer as well as to himself, the artist.
Ken Bonner’s work is presently held in private collections in 24 countries.
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