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What’s in Ken’s Sketchbook?

"Dora Junction" by Ken Smith. This is what is on Ken's easel.

“Dora Junction” by Ken Smith. This is what is on Ken’s easel.

On certain afternoons, especially in the spring and summer, a special treat sometimes waits for me at home. Sometimes these little lovelies are on small square gessoed hardboard, larger rectangles of the same material, and recently found in a sketchbook.

I’m sure the word gessoed provides the clue, but maybe you are thinking why am I so enamored of small squares?

I am excited by small squares, rectangles and sketchbooks because my partner, artist Ken Smith, creates them. In his quest to explore Plein Air painting, he paints these treasures. When he has a new one, he displays it on our fireplace mantel. Discovering a new one feels a bit like birthday anticipation and the arrival of a sudden gift.

With that in mind, I decided (with his approval) to add a regular feature on the blog called “What’s on Ken’s Easel?” hoping you share in my enjoyment in these landscapes, which he paints on site.

That being said, this inaugural installment is in his new sketchbook (a product recommended by James Gurney). For “Dora Junction,” Ken, who normally paints in oil, is trying out Gouache techniques and medium.



The Unwinding Path is the blog of L.S. King – photographer, want-to-be printmaker and sometimes hypnotist. By day she is an arts communications officer at a rural university (translation: photographer, writer, and media content provider), and most of the rest of her time she is an MFA graduate student at Radford University.


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