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Organic Brush Marks: Art by Ken Herren

An abstract painting with a textured purple overcoatCarioca, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas

Ken Herren is a painter who blends wildly abstract, organic brush marks with strict, geometrically patterned compositions and cohesive colour schemes. The artist’s body of work speaks of contrast and visual reconciliation between the artist’s rural upbringing and his current urban lifestyle. 

A painting with textured, coloured pumice as a top coatDjango, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas


I really enjoy the thick, heavy textures of Ken’s paintings. As we saw in our previous feature of Ken’s expressions of worlds colliding, the artist uses a blend of ground pumice and acrylic pigment to create a thick, brightly coloured paste which is then applied liberally to an abstractly colourful canvas, creating a heavy layer of earthen texture that reveals moments of what seems almost like a different painting, below. 

A screen capture of Ken Herren's art portfolio


The artist’s works are a fine balance between cohesive composition and contrasting tension. Even in his Oddities and Other Stuff gallery, Ken demonstrates an affinity for this thick, textured style of painting, which also calls to mind the work of David Maxim or David Tycho.

A painting with a bright yellow top coat over abstract coloursChiquitita, acrylic-infused pumice on canvas

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. They hold a degree in Critical and Cultural Practices from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, as well as a certificate in Technical Writing from BCIT. Dallas has a passion for speaking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In their studio practice they are an illustrator and budding tattoo artist, but they consider themselves a writer foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises or their art on Instagram.

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