Ken Weir

2020 August Show: Unusual Patterns

In previous shows I've used figures to engage the viewer by depicting parables, stories and unlikely situations. In this show I've continued the theme of unusual associations, but with patterns, not people. Each still life features a collection of patterns that wouldn't normally be juxtaposed. Those with a disturbing sense of fashion might disagree and I agree! Unexpected collections of beautiful patterns creates a new dynamic and excitement. The same is true of people. Here the painting frame is like a room that brings unrelated people together, despite Covid!

2018 Show: Figures Wrapped in Patterns

You might say I am a fool. A figure wrapped in patterns is a poor substitute for say... a woman dressed in high fashion. But a painting of a woman in exquisite clothes would leave the rest of the canvas blank, so I am filling that space with patterns.

The other motivation for using patterns is to break a rule I was taught by Paul Georges--that color shapes should be pure and balanced. A blue region on the left should be balanced with blue on the right, red with red, etc. The balance creates a 'center' of attention which makes the painting dynamic. Children make balanced paintings. Renaissance artists deliberately did it.

But paintings are interesting if they both follow and break rules. And patterns break up areas of color and disrupt the balance. Perhaps they can balance each other...

Painting with patterns also allows me to borrow from the beautiful patterns very clever people have already created. Who are these people? What a job!

Lastly, a number of artists I admire such as Klimt, Vuillard, and Bonnard do crazy beautiful things with patterns. I study and borrow.

I haven't invested the effort to draw and paint each pattern exactly. I don't think it's necessary.
May 3, 2018

2015 Show: The Jonestown Massacre and Other Human Mysteries

The Jonestown Massacre is a redo of an earlier painting but with more finesse, real figures and a greater scale. It depicts a prescient guard sitting before a vat of cyanide laced cool aid and the sect members in various stages of contemplating their fate.

2013 Show: Figurative Stories

I am a humanist. I seek situations and poses that present a simple dilemma or a pregnant moment. I try to depict a predicament, an awareness outside of the scene and a consequence though I never resolve a story.

A recent painting is ‘The Gift’ which shows an older gentleman presenting a small gift to an unclothed woman who, turning towards a light cascading through a window, refuses. The man appears hapless, unaware that the woman was already prepared to offer him the greatest gift--without his bribe. On the other hand the woman has received perhaps the enlightenment that Eve never knew, for the gentleman is most likely of dubious character.

Working in the figurative, humanist tradition that ennobles man gives me the opportunity to address questions of truth, beauty and human nature. I never provide answers with my work. How can I? I know so little.

2011 Show: Extraordinary People

2010 Show: Ken Weir, Suzanne Brault and Felix