Zac Kenny

Abstract painting is a way for Kenny to make sense of the world and to communicate that sensibility. Kenny’s colourful and energetic paintings convey the intense essence of things, people, emotions, events, and even questions. It’s easy to get swept up in the movement and drama of the paintings while allowing for one’s own story to unfold within the experience. While Kenny gives clues as to his initial inspiration for the pieces, he’d rather the viewer create their own meanings, entering a space within themselves where the painting is simply the backdrop to personal insight and reflection.

Kenny’s process is a mix of spontaneity, thoughtful action, and intuition. Sometimes based on abstract drawings or sketches, the painting’s forms and movements emerge somewhat subconsciously while the ideas or feelings behind them help guide the way. Colours whoosh in and around the paintings like waves in a storm. Colour has always been central to Kenny’s work and he strives for the perfect balance and pushes the limits of his palettes. Small colour studies let Kenny work with new and different combinations which sometimes require larger canvases to work out.

Life drawing has always been a part of Kenny’s practice. The spontaneity of drawing and the gesture of the human figure inspires much of his abstract work and often makes its way into the paintings, sometimes hiding just behind the surface. There is a quote from artist and teacher Richard Robertson that Kenny finds very motivating, “If you are excited about making a mark, that mark will be excited and will be exciting to look at”. The excitement in Kenny’s artwork is evident and a love of paint, canvas, palette knife and brush comes through in every piece.

Growing up in Kingston, Ontario, Kenny had access to several great arts programs and took focus courses in animation and fine art. Kenny attended The Ontario College of Art and Design and graduated with his B.F.A. in Drawing and Painting in 2006. In the fall of 2008, pursuing an interest in teaching, he traveled to Montreal where he attended Concordia University. He graduated with an M.A. in Art Education in 2011. Kenny now lives and works in Picton, Ontario as a professional medical illustrator and graphic designer. His work is exhibited regularly in Toronto, Montreal and Prince Edward County.

Selected Works

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Art & Culture in Prince Edward County

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