This month at Spectrum, we’re proud to display the work of Kenneth P. Cobb, whose paintings have elicited feedback from visitors in our lobby like “is that a photograph?!” for their life-like, precise detail. Kenneth recently shared with us a bit of insight into his motivation, inspiration, and goals as an artist. Read more about him below, and make sure to stop in for a look at his incredible work.
What initially motivated you to get into the arts, and how long have you been an artist?
I have been creating art in some way or another as long as I can remember. I really took to drawing as a teenager and found the personal challenges one can set for oneself through the creative process very satisfying. As I went onto college it seemed more and more apparent that it was my calling and that is when I really set my focus on dedicating most of my time to practicing drawing and painting.
Who do you look up to as an artist?
From an artist stand point, my college professor Dennis Wojtiewicz really guided me and showed me the disciplinary direction I needed to undertake to continue in the field of the arts. I often look back to his tutoring for direction in my own work. He really practiced what he preached and I feel he is probably my best role model. Contemporary artists in general that I find inspiration in include; Vincent Desiderio, David Mach, Alyssa Monk, and Jenny Saville. Historical artists include; Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Velasquez, John Singer Sargent, and Edgar Degas to name a few.
Do you have a desired medium? Why or why not?
I prefer oil painting mainly because of its diversity in application. Oil offers many options and effects in ways of building up a painting that I feel other mediums are limited in comparison. I enjoy experimenting with process.
What is something that has been a struggle for you as an artist?
The biggest struggle I’ve had is finding the necessary free time to put into the studio.
Do you think your art is easily understood by the viewer or is it commonly difficult for them? Is this intentional? Why or why not?
My more recent pieces are more about color, so the subject matter I’ve chosen for this has been a bit more straight forward and people seem to understand what I am trying to go for. In the past, in my more narrative works, I have noticed not everyone always gets the message I am trying make, but regardless they seem to be able to appreciate elements of the paintings in various ways. Most often I have noticed people tend to project their own interpretations to what they are visually experiencing and I think that’s a wonderful element that makes art unique from person to person.
What are your hopes and goals as an artist?
My main goal is to be able to continue in the arts as a career. Currently, I have been focusing on being an art teacher at both the university and community level and would like to eventually find a full-time place in a university somewhere. Ideally, it would be great to be able to support my studio practice this way with both the studio and the teaching influencing each other.
How can interested people get in touch with you?
The best way to reach me is by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.