Ken Simmelink

Showcase Artist in Members Gallery May 4 - June 11, 2016

Photo Realistic Oil Painter loves all creatures and time periods


Ken Simmelink: Ken says he first became aware that he could “sketch animals pretty well…when my 4th grade teacher asked if she could frame my pencil drawing of a deer and hang it in her home.” Years later, while homebound recovering from meningitis, it was another woman who encouraged him to try oil painting. In college Ken took art courses for enjoyment and “to boost my grade point average.” And finally he says “it was my wife, who just before retirement bought me an easel and paints to get me started on a retirement hobby, which she knew I would soon need.” Ken grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and always had a special affinity for animals and they are still his favorite subject matter. A career in Aviation and missions work allowed him to live, work and travel in many areas of the world. He works in watercolor, pastels and oils and his style is photo realism.


Ken enjoys visiting periods in history through his art like the great depression, the dust bowl, the slave era, World War II and others. He says, “Painting the people of those periods in history has helped me to identify and to document their pride and suffering.” Ken grew up on a farm in Wisconsin where he developed a love for animals and the great outdoors. In college Ken majored in Psychology but he also took a variety of art courses including oil painting and sculpturing. A career in aviation and mission work left little time for artistic endeavors but enabled travels and residencies in parts in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Latin America. East Tennessee has been his home for the last 30 years. It was only after Ken’s retirement in 1996 did he take up painting seriously. He now working in three media; oils, pastels and watercolor.