May 13, 2013, A Big Day for Ken Delmar

I was upstairs in my attic atelier, painting, when the front doorbell sounded.  I went downstairs dreading having to deal with a door-to-door salesperson, charity solicitor, or missionary. But, no, it was two women from the Stamford Advocate, who asked me if I was interesting. My daughter was nearby in the family room, and she came to the foyer and said, “Did they just ask you if you were interesting!? Dad, show them your paintings.” One of the women, Eve Sullivan, the reporter, saw the remarkable spectacle of large paintings that fill our living room, or gallery, and called to her colleague, “Dru, bring your cameras!”

These two women, who go into the field hoping to get lucky and find Stamford residents who are  interesting, and have some visual component that is compelling, interviewed me and photographed me, my art and me working in my studio for over an hour. For an artist, getting free editorial coverage in a City newspaper is very very hard to do. You need a publicist. You need money. You need to spend half your waking hours marketing yourself. So this was a sublime serendipity of the first order. I couldn’t believe my good luck.

The article appeared May 13, 2013, and I have been inundated with calls and emails from friends and acquaintances all morning.  Most people I have met know that I paint, and have been painting for a long long time, but they may not have seen my work, now it’s out there, available to see, in the article and on the website I am having created right now by a web-site designer. It’s by not means finished, but it’s up and it has quite a few of my new pieces, these panels of faces and figures, painted in oil on paper towels. I am the first professional artist to paint on paper towels — everyone, every collector and every gallery owner is always looking for something edgy and new, and there it is. The paper towels just suck paint off the brush, so the layer of paint is thick and brilliant. The paint doesn’t just sit on the surface of a prepared support, but it is sucked into the support like a stain, a technique perfected by the late Helen Frankenthaler. But her art was totally abstract, and my new work is between somewhat abstract and representational.

The media I am using and the style I am working in was born through no conscious effort on my part. I simply started painting on panels of paper towel one day, faces and figures, couples or groups in perhaps the woods, but mostly faces. Most of them are from the imagination, but some are from memory, and some are from life, and right now I am doing the nine faces of our US Supreme Court Justices, from existing pictures of them on the Web.