Chairs, but nobody is sitting down!

All of Ganges it seems
 went a little chair crazy last May (2010), with a weekend auction of simple plywood
and metal chairs transformed into Art by a who’s who of over 60 Salt Spring Island
artists.

                                                                                                                                                                                 “Chairabundus”  by Ken Ketchum

Chairs by artists who donated their time and materials in support of this
event were displayed in locations around Ganges before the Chair-ity
Dinner and Auction on May 21st &22nd which raised $45,000.
The Auction at Historic Mahon Hall was a spectacular event. Our
own renowned arts community mingled, enjoying savoury
appetizers served with wine from Salt Spring Winery whilst celebrity
MC and Auctioneer duo Sid Filkow and Arvid Chalmers led the auction.
A sold out dinner for sixty was held the night before at Hastings House.
 
Here’s an interview with one of the artists Ken Ketchum. Questions by Megan Manning:
"My Other" by Ken Ketchum

MWhat first inspired you to become an artist?

KAs far back as I can remember I have been interested in designing things. When I was a young boy, (8 or 9), our local Sunday paper would have a weekly floor plan of a top home design. I would clip out the article and then redesign the plans in my own way. No doubt these exercises helped me develop my sense of space and composition, and a passion for drawing.
 
 
M: Would you tell a story about one of your first artistic experiences?

K:  I moved out of my parents home when I was 18. I moved a few miles away in our small conservative town to an apartment building full of artistic types. They called them freaks and odd balls then, this was 1966. One guy there was a little more unusual than the rest. Mike was into performance art. One day he decided to see if he could kick a dime a mile… he did it. The next thing he did was to dress up in aluminium  foil from head to toe and walk around the neighbourhood …He got arrested. He was the first performance artist I ever met. Mike was funny and fearless, and taught me a few things about the power and importance of taking chances with artistic expression and seeing things in a different way.

M: What do you say ‘yes’ to in your artistic life?

K: I say yes to spending lots of money on art supplies and equipment. Sometimes I spend more than I have. I say yes to going out of my way to visit a museum or gallery
when I am travelling.
 
MWhen it gets difficult, what makes you keep going?

K: There are always difficulties. What keeps me going is the knowledge that things always get better. Just like the weather
 
MWhat other artists inspire you? Why?
"Still Life" by Ken Ketchum

K: Because of my early experiences with drawing, I became attracted to the early master draftsmen like Leonardo da Vinci, Albrecht Duerer and Rembrandt. As I matured as an artist, I learned to understand and appreciate painters like Picasso, De Kooning, and the German Expressionists. I try to bring to my photography a passion for expression through composition, colour, texture; a poetic, rather than a journalistic approach
 
 
 
 MHow did you end  up on SaltSpring?

K: My wife and I started coming to Salt Spring in the mid ‘80’s, for yearly summer visits to a friend on Prevost Island. We loved the place, and in 2004 we decided to make Salt Spring our home.
 
MWhat do you see as your greatest Challenge as an artist?

K: Probably the greatest challenge is making the time in my work schedule as a carpenter to switch gears and let the creative muse take over.
 
M:What’s the best thing about the art scene on SSI?

KThe best thing is the number of artists and creative folks that are on this small rock. I keep running into really talented people. Artists are a different breed and it makes me feel at home to know some of them.

MIf you had a magic wand, where would you wave it?

"la Chucha" by Ken Ketchum

K: I would make it possible for more artists to do well financially by doing their art. Make galleries more successful, and patrons more willing to invest in art.

This interview was first published in the May 2010 Salt Spring Arts Council newsletter. See the entire news letter here 

Drawing Ferlinghetti

In 2002, I was working in San Francisco. I worked as a carpenter right across the street from Giants Stadium. Not only could I see the big reader board in the stadium and see Barry Bonds hit his 73rd in 2001, but I got to see the Stones play the stadium.

Down the pier from the stadium was a little old-time cafe called the Java House.

I would walk across the street for breakfast a couple of times a week.One morning I had been listening to an NPR interview with Lawrence Ferlinghetti, the noted activist, co-founder of City Lights Booksellers and Publishers .

After listening to the interview I headed across to the cafe and settled into one of the booths. From the next table over I heard a voice that sounded a lot like the one in the radio interview. I turned and asked the gentleman sitting there what his name was….he said “Larry” I thought so I muttered to myself, and what a coincidence! I asked him if I could draw his portrait ( I usually carry some kind of  paper and pencil with me). He returned to his meal and I started drawing. He seemed a little uncomfortable with my forwardness so I just made a quick sketch. Here’s the result.

Lawrence Ferlinghetti turned 96 in March of 2015, and is…. still active. He  shows  his paintings at The George Krevsky Gallery.

Scanography

Here’s the definition according to Wikipedia

Scanography, also spelled scannography more commonly referred to as scanner photography, is the process of capturing digitized images of objects for the purpose of creating printable art using a flatbed “photo” scanner with a CCD (charge-coupled device) array capturing device. The term scanography formerly referred tomedical scanning, but is unrelated in either purpose or technique. Fine art scanography differs from traditional document scanning by using atypical objects, often three dimensional, as well as from photography, due to the nature of the scanner’s operation.

I use a relatively inexpensive Epson Perfection 4490 Photo scanner. I started using the scanner as an art tool after getting the idea from one of my favorite scanographers Janet Dwyer. The first time I saw Janet’s work was at Photosynthesis, the premier photographers show on Salt Spring Island. The show is an annual event held in late summer at Art Spring.

My first attempt at scanography was well received at the 2008 Photosynthesis show. Here are a few of my compositions.

As you can see, my  scanography is not just  arranging a bunch of leaves on a scanner bed and pushing a button. I input the raw image into Photoshop, and ad photos, mirror the image, adjust the colour and carefully remove any dust that transfered to the digital file. I then print several proofs before I am happy with the final piece.

One thing I do before scanning is to lay very black matt paper over the top of the objects to be scanned. This gives a black background to the composition.

for more detailed scanography samples, visit my website.