Kenneth Ober was drawn to art at a young age. In fact, his mom still has some of his work from his preschool days. His passion for art and creative abilities continued to unfold throughout his childhood and by high school, it had become his primary focus.
Born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kenneth moved to Maryland at the age of 6 months. He later went on to study art, art history and literature at the University of Maryland. A growing desire to connect with a larger art community brought Kenneth to California where he’d finish his studies at Otis College of Art and Design.
Today, Kenneth is best known for his unique line-work art, a technique he created in 2007 after working on a piece in which he needed to create approximately 300 lines that were 1/16 of an inch. After starting the process with his brush, he thought, “there’s got to be a better way.”
That search brought him to the Beugler pinstriping tool, which is traditionally used for automobiles. Kenneth adapted the tool to apply precise lines to subtly textured canvas.
“I was blown away that I had never seen or heard of this tool in all the years that I had been making art,” he said. “I had to have one. And the rest is history.”
What’s interesting is the eye brings these multi-color lines together through a phenomenon called optical color mixing in which the viewer perceives a particular color as a result of two or more colors positioned next to or near one another. Kenneth uses these lines and this visual experience to create serene abstract landscapes.
Inspired by nature and the expansive feeling of open spaces, his goal is to evoke that feeling of simply “enjoying the view.”
“I spent 20 years in Los Angeles and life is bumper to bumper. You never see very far,” he said. “As I started traveling for art festivals, I found myself in these big open places where there were no people and houses. It was a breath of fresh air. There was space and peace and quietude.”
As for what drew him to the Celebration of Fine Art, and what has kept him coming back…it’s the community.
“The community is not just the 100 artists, it’s all the people who come here and have been coming here for so long. It’s huge. And that to me, is really cool,” he said.
Watch Kenneth’s interview here: