Ken Howard obe ra
”All my life, my basic inspiration has been drawn from light, whether the silver grey of winter or the sparkle of summer. London is exciting in all lights, whether the subtle grey light of winter or the dancing light of summer.”
Ken Howard OBE RA is without question one of the most loved artists of his generation . He was born in North London in 1932 and studied at Hornsey and then at the Royal College of Art 1955 to 1958. In his early days he could often be seen in the railway yards and factory complexes in North London , where he could paint the light and form of the London infrastructure. Painting in a "traditional" manner, based on strong observation and a high degree of draughtsmanship the depiction of light is a strong and recurrent element of his work. He says that he is not a landscape painter but it was his love of buildings that has influenced the use of horizontal and vertical structures and lines in his work.
Howard’s first solo show was held at the Plymouth Art Centre in 1955. Other exhibitions were held in 1966 and 1968 at the John Whibley Gallery. From then on he exhibited extensively, both nationally and internationally, particularly with the New Grafton Gallery from the early 1970s. He lived in Hampton Hill, Middlesex for a number of years during the 1960’s and it was from there that he would strikeout to paint his beloved London. He moved out of this house in the early 1970’s when in 1973 he was appointed by the Imperial War Museum as official artist in Northern Ireland. He also worked with the British Army in Germany, Cyprus, Oman, Hong Kong, Nepal, Norway, Canada, Belize and Brunei from 1973 to 1982.
Howard was elected a member of the New English Art Club in 1962, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in 1966, the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolours in 1979, the Royal West of England Academy 1981, Honorary Member of the Royal Society of British Artists in 1988, Royal Academician in 1991 and President of the New English Art Club in 1998. Ken Howard's paintings hang in public collections including the National Army Museum, Guildhall Art Gallery, Ulster Museum and Imperial War Museum and he was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours.
He now divides his time between his studios in Cornwall and London.