Tapping into the creative core

For local painter Ken Lyons, good art comes from a good creative connection.

It’s something he’s learned over the last 60 years, first as a boy drawing cartoons and farmyard sketches with his father, then as student at the Saskatchewan Teacher’s College in Saskatoon and later an art teacher and accomplished painter in Prince Albert. The desire to create is part of human nature, he explains, and the results of those efforts will be on display in February when he opens “Connecting with the Source,” his latest exhibit.

“The source means that inner core of creativity that I think is in all of us,” Lyons said during an interview on Monday. “It’s to strike a bond with that and relate to that and somehow, hopefully, it will come out in my pictures.”

The paintings in Lyons’ exhibit run across different styles and eras. Throughout that period his core desire to create has remained unchanged, although his subject matter certainly has. His paintings include his abstract works from his the late 1960s to more traditional landscape paintings from more recent efforts.

“I just take it as it comes,” Lyons chuckled. “Whatever appeals to me, that’s what I do.”

While many landscape painters focus on the lakes and forests of the north, Lyons’ works contain a number of fields, back roads and small town churches. He’s always been drawn to the fields and open skies, and it shows in his choice of subject matter.

“I love the big spaces and skies,” he said. “I travel back and forth to Saskatoon quite a bit and along the way you get these pictures like that of the big sky. It will always appeal to me.”

Although this isn’t Lyons’ first public exhibit, it is still a rare occasion. He only decided to show his work this past year, and hopes it will give audiences something to enjoy, while also striking a chord of recognition.

“(It’s) about tapping into the inner creative force that, in my opinion, lives within and among us all,” he said. “I try to allow that force to be revealed in my paintings. It’s the thing that gives meaning to art and life.”

“Connecting with the Source,” is scheduled to run from Feb. 1-23 at the John V. Hicks Art Gallery on Central Avenue. An artist reception will be held on Feb. 2 at 1 p.m., with the artist talk scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m.