|Artist Bio: "Ken grew up with his feet deeply planted in the surfing culture where he first
learned to express his art talent. Caught up in the ground swell of the 1960s
surfing culture, Ken not only plunged into the sport of surfing but into the
art and graphics of surfing as well.
While working his way towards a Bachelor in Fine Arts degree from Long Beach
State University, Ken built one of the world's most prominent silkscreen and T-
shirt companies, creating now-legendary surfing art that adorned surfers from
Hawaii to the shores of Peru. His surfing images, silk-screened as original
prints on paper, became the "fine art" of this beach culture, and today,
represent the classic surf art of the past century.
At the heart of Ken's work was always the awareness of the fine line between
man-made and nature. In the mid-1990s, Ken moved to a more serious art level -
involving him with the immediacy of oil paints as opposed to the process-
burdened medium of printmaking. Throwing himself into the splendor of "plein
air" (on location) painting, Ken discovered the richness and broad colors of
the city life he long avoided. As he will tell you, he rejoiced in this
newfound ability to paint anything and everything - cafes, train stations,
airports, street scenes, and of course, never far away, was the beach, his
The transition from surf art to serious impressionism was natural for Ken -
his passion and obsession to reach a new understanding between himself and the
oil painting medium took on a new intensity of discovery. "I simply want to
achieve the ultimate communication on the canvas - to say more with less," Ken
His deft use of color. His economies of brush strokes. His simple, yet
beautifully structured compositions. As one famous critic described - "each
painting captures a moment in time charged with a hint of narrative drama. And
each is rendered with such vibrant immediacy that a single glance excites
other senses as well."
Ken's passion for painting is shared with hundreds of students who each year
travel from around the world to attend his workshops in Laguna Beach, Carmel
and art schools throughout the country. With his wife, they have a thriving
art world centered at their studio and gallery in picturesque Laguna Canyon.
In a relatively short time since this transition to "plein air" painting, Ken
Auster has moved to the forefront of American contemporary impressionists. He
consistently walks away with gold medals and first place awards at juried
exhibits. His work is collected by museums, patrons and shown in some of the
most respected galleries nationwide.
Renowned for his classic surf art, Ken Auster now sees and paints a bold,
dynamically changing world, whether it is London, Venice (Italy), San
Francisco, Carmel, Napa Valley, or Baja, Mexico. He shares with us the
uncomplicated but moving stories on canvas - simply and effectively,
documenting the ordinary in an unordinary manner.
And what about his surfing? Well, if the surf is flat, you'll find Ken in his
studio. But when the surf is "up", you'll find Ken, most likely, filling his