Ken Ahlering

“I’ve been painting realistic images of America in oil for over 50 years. I am mostly self-taught. From very early youth I’ve been attracted to realistic drawings and oil paintings…The Old Masters, with their long tradition of mastering the skills needed to produce beautiful color, composition and light were what I wanted to emulate. I looked at paintings by the Dutch Landscape artists, the Hudson River School, American Western Artists…old and new…and the like for inspiration.

I was given a set of oil paints by my cousin Vivian, who thought perhaps that I could make better use of them. I remember my first attempts; a Chevrolet auto, a local church and a portrait of an old man. These early works are long gone, but I can still picture them and even remember the struggles to produce them. I can almost still remember the proud feeling I had as family and friends admired them.

But as things worked out, my interest in art had to take a backseat to the realities of everyday life. From time to time I would take a night course in painting and try to sharpen my skills. In the last ten to fifteen years however, I have found much more time to paint and have made a new beginning. When my pal Betty helped me discover that people were willing to pay for my paintings, I got a new sense of satisfaction that is hard to describe.

Each painting is a reflection of my feelings, or what I prefer to be feeling: peaceful, serene and American. I try to portray images that remind people of a place and time they can remember. I specialize in American landscapes, seascapes, especially the Jersey shore and skiscapes of my favorite ski areas in Vermont.

My paintings should quiet a room, slow the pace of the viewer and start a conversation. I want my paintings to become family heirlooms, passed on as familiar parts of a family’s environment. They are scattering around the country, overseas and recently at the US mission in Uzbekistan.”