Ken Paine was born in Lambeth, London in 1926. He studied at Twickenham College of Art and later with R O Dunlop RA. After traveling extensively for several years, the artist settled in the United States. It was during this time that he further developed his interest in portraiture, and of the character studies which have become his life’s work. He travelled all around the States, painting people from all walks of life, before returning to England to set up his studio.
Since 1962 the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and the Pastel Society have exhibited his work, and his commissions have included many dignitaries and celebrities. Paine is a member of the Pastel Society and the Soci’t’ des Pastellistes de France. He has won numerous awards for his portraiture both in the United Kingdom and France. His work has been exhibited widely over the years and he has held many solo exhibitions. In 1999 a major retrospective of his work (a loan exhibition) was staged in Bath Museum.
In 2004 Toulouse Museum acquired two of his works. Ken Paine works in all media, but pastel is the medium for which he is most well known. His work leans towards the romantic and shows genuine pathos without being sentimental. The vitality revealed in his portraits can be awe-inspiring. The artist’s empathy with his subjects produces a quite unique artistic result which is admired world wide.
A beautifully illustrated biography: ‘Ken Paine ‘ His Life and Work’ by Michael Simonow, was published by Mechanick Exercises in 1997. In 2001 an hour long documentary on his life and work was commissioned for Sky Television’s cultural channel.