Ken DeWaard was born and raised in the Midwest. His love for the arts was apparent at a very early age and, through encouragement and early training, he has built his life around the arts.
After receiving his Bachelor of Arts with honors, Ken began working in a commercial art studio in Chicago. He continued his education at the American Academy of Art where he studied with nationally recognized watercolorist, Irving Shapiro. Upon Shapiro’s recommendation, Ken joined the acclaimed Palette and Chisel Academy of Fine Art in Chicago, where he studied with artists Scott Burdick and Dan Gerhartz. It was there that DeWaard adapted his direct and pure approach, as well as his bravura brush style, which he achieves by painting from life.
Strongly inspired by artists John Singer Sargent, Nicolai Fechin, Joaquin Sorolla and the Russian Impressionists, DeWaard finds himself painting an array of subject matter from everyday life. The feelings DeWaard evokes in his paintings are due in part to the excitement and passion he feels while capturing the fleeting effects of light, or the wonderful color nuances and harmonies presented by nature and all of her beauty.
DeWaard continues to travel throughout the United States, as well as to Italy. He has spent many a summer day painting the Italian countryside, American vistas, and beauty wherever it finds him. This has always been a contributing factor in his work, insight, and inspiration and growth as an artist. According to DeWaard, “there is nothing more rewarding and challenging than painting under an open sky, surrounded by the scents and sounds of nature, along with it's ever changing color and harmonies to excite one's creativity.”
Ken DeWaard currently resides with his wife and four young children in the beautiful, driftless area of southwest Wisconsin, where he paints and teaches at the Kewaunee Academy of Fine Art.