BS or Art

8.5×11 in. pen and ink.
This is the second one done during my downtime while at this past years art prowl. The subject was actually from some words I had put on my blotter, “art can be elusive,” in my basement studio.(by the way that is my blotter in the background on this photo) While thinking about that this piece took form…drawing about words I try to link most objects, although it isn’t a hard fast rule. In fairness to the process this was finished at my desk and not during the art prowl…the biggest clue…note the bottle of terro, i am sure most art shows wouldn’t require it ūüėČ It was just an interesting object in my line of site and filled the void presented on the paper. Same could be said about my glass of ice cold diet coke. The rest? … they are almost just positioned doodles in a pen and ink composition. But none the less these are fun to do even if all never get completed or see the light of day…lol

BS or Art? Art can be so elusive to most people, but we must all try our best. Ken Knieling 2011

PS…If it makes my work seem better to you thinking BS is short for cow manure then i am fine with it…but the truth is it stands for Bored Scribbles , used that in college and it still fits ūüėČ . As to if it is ART?…well that is in the eye of the beholder, right?


The 2nd Finger

8×11 in. mixed media. My first piece done on a Mac512¬†using McDraw about 1986.That isn’t old age spots ¬†in the left hand corned, but spray acrylic that didn’t like the parchment paper… I made it work like background texture, each¬†spot is outlined in white.¬†

Boy was I proud to sling that portable machine over my shoulder, in it’s tan¬†apple case with logo, and take it to my computer class at Washburn University in Topeka. Everyone was so jealous while they had to hack around with Apple II’s doing art, very crude, and I was doing my thing freehand with my MacMouse. Loved the mirror option, doing one half while the computer made sure it got the other¬†half¬†down. Funny thing was I had broken my left arm, i¬†am a lefty, and watching the screen and mousing away with my right hand I was getting very good at being a righty…so much so whenever I used a computer from then on, I was right handed…but believe me I couldn’t hardly draw with my right to save my life (still can’t)…but i¬†could on a Mac.You had to have imagination also, since the screen was only in black and white…just as well color printers for the Mac at the time were very limited, thus mixed media if you wanted color. This was a great machine for conture¬†drawing, I did several full sized¬†drawings of people’s faces and liked the look better than pen or pencil, and no messy paper…just a nice colorful floppy disk with label. Just wished at that time it would have been battery powered.

You Can Only Clean Fish Once

9×12 in. mixed media. Details on the lighter areas not showing very well, you will have to take my word¬†on there is more to be seen. Used some of that 42 year old¬†ink in getting my colors¬†just right. Had a few on lookers thinking I was doing something with football laces or clocks…nice observation but can’t say I was on that path. Watercolor paper does such a nice job of taking my early layers before I start glazing over with finishes, inks, and acrylic. Not sure I have mentioned my process in naming pieces before…once I have completed a piece I spend some time with it and see what comes to mind…I have¬†almost as much fun doing this as I do working on them. Not sure what my titles say about me as an artist but I do know it is enjoyable.¬†

I Have Reached My Limit

Slightly mixed media 10×14 in.¬† During a phase when I was doing just circles, but this time I was free with the shape using mainly brushes. The primary medium was acrylic with some ink work. I enjoyed coming up with the different shades and hues trying at least to keep them in range of each other for continuity.¬† No hidden meaning or deep seated emotion, just the joy of laying color to paper and taking pleasure in the process…I find it a soothing piece to look at.

Channel Surfing With Rabbit Ears


Mixed media 9×12 in. What baby boomer hasn’t been up late at night to see the test pattern come on…or be trying to get stations late at night that you can only get when there was a temperature inversion.¬† Who knew those satellites would take away all of these late night adventures. To me seeing the Indian Chief was iconic to those days…by the way, I cheated … those test patterns were in black and white…oh well, imagination is nice. The station to my knowledge is my invention using some letters that have meaning to me.

Hide N Seek

Mixed media 9×12 in.¬† My first in a series of octopus and ocean series, not as much factual as, colorful with a bit of whimsey. This was the piece I traded with a fellow artist at the ” Picasso Doesn’t Live Here art fair.”¬† The octopus has almost a pearly finished skin with multiple colors.¬† To contrast against it I used paint-sticks for the coral and the goofy fish (my version of a type of parrot fish).¬† Not sure if there is treasure around or not but we do have a shipwreck, anchor and oil.¬†¬† Don’t ask about the magenta flow to the right it’s either a crack in the mantle or the remains of a missing tanker full of silly putty… or it might be just the right color to offset the octopus’s brite eyes. Regardless a very fun piece.