Ken L. Smith - O'Lorell Art
Image Although born and raised on a small farm on the edge of Pennsylvania Dutch Country, Ken L. Smith’s roots are deep in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. This is where, as a child, many trips were made to visit the farms and relatives of both parents - visits that set the stage and influenced his life and paintings even though he has resided in Oregon and California for over 30 years. By the time he reached high school, he was winning awards for his works, which even then, were noted for their unique realism. His finely tuned sense of color and use of high detail mark his work as truly distinctive.

Although trained as an Electrical Engineer, he has sketched, painted and studied art all his life -- including under the Chilean Artist, Luis Busta at the Luis Busta Art Studios in San Mateo, California. A versatile artist, his paintings are often photo-realist but may range from representational through to the surrealistic. In every mode one is aware of his great love of nature and his sensitivity to mankind’s role in the world.

Although Ken has received many awards in shows across the San Francisco Bay Area over the years, his most rewarding work is when when he's had a chance to capture life’s special moments and places in paintings that that bring joy and hope to those who experience and cherish them.

The Source of His Art
Today Ken L. Smith's work comes from his deep appreciation of those who have worked, lived and loved many years in experiencing life’s light and special moments. He works from personal experience, photographs, trips, and perhaps most importantly, feelings and emotions that are gathered through visits and conversations with those who have special moments or places they wish to capture on canvas.

Most of these subjects contain old places, buildings, items, events that usually represent the often hard work and efforts of people who have gone before to provide the present with rich and cherished memories.

Current work is often taken from old, black and white, sometimes-damaged photographs of building and places that only exist in the minds of those who experienced and appreciate them. His goal in each painting is to bring out and show the true life, feelings and emotions associated with these special places or events.

His Techniques
As demonstrated in the Moments-of-Life gallery, the paintings are often created from photos provided by the client or taken by the artist. Every attempt is made to create custom paintings that reflect the client’s personal taste, experiences and feelings.

Photographs of all possible aspects of the subject are usually scanned and transferred to the computer where they can be best utilized at his easel - using oils or acrylics. Since it is sometimes difficult to capture details from small photographs, certain sections are enlarged and reprinted (instead of painting with one hand and holding a magnifying glass with the other!).

Usually many phone calls or visits are required to install small details that often mean a lot to those associated with the scene (in spite of efforts by others to change him, the engineer in him comes out sometimes!) He enjoys getting to know the people and places involved in the subject matter - a process that tends to produce a warmer and more accurate painting that better reflects and represents the feeling of the subject.

All completed paintings are usually scanned and filed on CDs. This allows copies to be made for others involved (family, friends, etc.) in the subject. These copies can be printed out in almost any size on various media as desired.