Artist Ken Nichols holding one of his remarkable paintings with an admirer -- Ken is another artist I encountered via the Sparky Town scene who earned my eternal admiration not just due to the convincing nature of his work, but by reaching out to me as another artist with some great ideas I'm aiming to apply to my own routine.
One of my unspoken rules about painting is that outright abstraction is to be avoided unless under very carefully controlled circumstances. Ken pulls it off by not caving to the ease of relying on conventional approaches to removing subjective reality from his work, creating intricate, highly detailed canvases with every inch of the surface receiving equal consideration. He uses found materials like beads, buttons, and shards of mirrored glass to achieve a purity of form which involves both the eye and brain. For once the closer you get the more you see; most abstract work has the opposite effect on me. You want to see it from across the room, or better yet through the window while passing by doing other things. Life is short.
Ken is also an artist after my own heart with a multi-disciplined approach to his creative output which includes ceramics and some marvelous scarves which he offers for sale from his website, http://www.kennicholsart.com. Be sure to visit for the lowdown on his latest creations, upcoming shows and an archive of past events. Now if only he can cough up the number of those dancing girls we're in business, and here are some examples of his work cribbed both from his website and Facebook albums.