May I Introduce Ken Auster?

Ken Auster: Weekend with the Masters Instructor

Clearing Skies by Ken Auster, oil painting.
Clearing Skies by Ken Auster, oil painting.

Ken Auster grew up with his feet deeply implanted in the sands of Southern California beaches. Caught up in the surfing culture of the 1960s, Auster ate, slept and breathed the essence of this lifestyle and eventually became a pioneer in surf imagery clothing and silk screening. Working his way through college, he designed and silk-screened T-shirts for the surfing industry as well as businesses in Belmont Shores, California.

Eventually he created a silk-screen business that allowed him to travel to distant shores, not only to sell his product but also to surf the then uncrowded waves of tropical islands. Silk-screened shirts then led to silk-screened original prints on paper and an unusual success in supplying surf art to a hungry culture. Those images are now considered classic images of surfing in the 1960s and 1970s along the coastal shorelines. As Auster became more aware of the fine line between the man-made and nature, he began to involve himself with the immediacy of oil paint as opposed to the process-burdened medium of printmaking. The spontaneity and quick decision making of painting on location taught the artist how to paint like he "sees."

With this newfound ability, he rejoiced in painting anything and everything–cities, cafés, train stations, airports, and, of course, the beach. Developing a unique approach to painting, Auster's work became looser and more confident, and the honesty of his work led to many rave reviews by critics and sold-out shows. His passion for painting is not only seen in his work but is also heard in his lectures to students in his many painting workshops. From a lonely surfer walking down an empty beach to red taillights of traffic gridlock downtown, Auster's paintings tell a story simply and effectively, documenting the ordinary in an unordinary manner. For more information on Auster, visit his website.

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Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.