James Ken Spencer Sr [NRA 2016]
First name: James Ken ;
Middle name: ;
Last name: Spencer Sr ;
Member: Non-resident member ;
Begin: 2016 ;
End: n/a ;
A tenacious search for Truth, Virtue, and Beauty motivates my personal life and my professional work at the easel. Much of my artwork is beauty for beauty’s sake—which I think is a wonderful motivation for the artist. Recently, however, I’ve felt strongly drawn to the notion of using images as metaphor, searching for truth through subtle narrative. This way of working is slower and more challenging yet tremendously rewarding. A road, for example, can signify the adversities and adventures of life’s journey; a book, the reminder to seek knowledge; a house, the love of family and personal roots. Some images are a little further “out there” like in the painting “What You Must Know,” where I figuratively portray the disastrous consequences of unrecognized or ignored problems.
An undercurrent of spiritual and emotional inquiry surfaces in my work. Christ’s teachings have influenced my life as have the writings of early Greek and Roman philosophers- especially the “Stoics.” I am drawn to the writings of people like Marcus Aurelius and Epictetus for their pursuit of wisdom, courage, justice, and temperance- truths and virtues worth seeking.
Sharing deeply personal thoughts has its challenges. Normally, I would not presume to subject innocent bystanders to “what is Ken thinking” but since you are on this site by your own choice, I suppose you can handle it… you brave soul:) Through painting, I am able to reflect on life and use a visual vocabulary to speak the thoughts of my heart. In a sense, my work is a dialogue about what is meaningful in life. I bring something to the conversation, and so do you- the viewer. I present a story, you complete it. I certainly don’t claim to be an authority on the human condition, but I do believe life is a miracle and that there is meaning and purpose to it.
Perhaps middle age has caused me to wonder what constitutes a valid contribution to the world or maybe it is part of my emotional evolution of wanting to bring something positive to counterbalance the negative in life. What I have learned over the past 30 years of painting is that beauty has a power all its own, and when harnessed with a meaningful subject and the artist’s intention, it becomes charged in some very special ways.
Ultimately, I hope this work will inspire and enrich my fellow travelers on life’s journey. And so, I offer my artwork and observations in the hope that it may add something to your life and contribute in some small way to the Truth, Virtue, and Beauty in our world.
Digital-born document number:
Record birth date:
December 28, 2019
Last updated: January 22, 2023 at 23:45 pm