March 2023 Roaring In Like a Lion for Artist Ken Marunowski

(Anza-Borrego Desert. Mixed-media on paper, 26”x40”, 2022 by Ken Marunowski)

This March is certainly roaring in like a lion for Bend artist Ken Marunowski with his second solo exhibition at LAURA VINCENT DESIGN & GALLERY (LVDG) in Portland and his first workshop at the Borrego Art Institute, located in Southern California’s stunning Anza-Borrego Desert. With this kind of momentum and more workshops and art features soon to come, it’s unlikely this third month of 2023 will go out like a lamb for our local abstract and representational painter!


Marunowski’s second solo exhibition at LVDG, titled IDEA & IMPULSE, runs from March 2 to April 1 and features abstract paintings completed over the last two years. Inspired by his visits to the Joan Mitchell Retrospective in both San Francisco and Paris, Ken’s paintings pulsate with both vibrant and subtle color harmonies and vigorous, gestural brush work. And like Mitchell, the Bend artist loves to work large, with many of the paintings measuring 48”x60” and bigger!

“Painting large format canvases permits me a certain freedom of expression that I absolutely adore and, more and more, require,” the artist offers. “Something about the size of a big canvas feels right, particularly in the sense that it’s in proportion to my body, to my gesture, to my entire being really,” Ken continues. “I guess I like to live large!” he concludes with a smile.

Please join Ken at the exhibition’s First Thursday opening on March 2 from 5-8pm and extend your stay through Saturday so you can hear his gallery talk at 11am on March 4. During the talk, Marunowski will discuss the relationship between idea and impulse in his work and share stories about the evolution of select paintings on display, followed by a Q&A session.

To preview LVDG’S collection of Ken’s paintings, many of which will adorn the gallery’s walls, visit his webpage on the gallery website at


Last April, Ken was invited to the Anza-Borrego Desert by painter extraordinaire Jane Culp, and he fell in love with the place, so much so that he paid a visit to the Borrego Art Institute in the small town of Borrego Springs to inquire about workshop possibilities. Alas, the inquiry has now become reality, and the artist will lead a three-day workshop there from March 24-26, 9am-4:30pm.

Central to this workshop is the idea that there can be more to landscape painting than rendering a single, fixed scene or view. Although this approach worked brilliantly for the Impressionists and still does for many artists today, Marunowski believes that contemporary painters can push the idea of landscape further by considering it as a research site from which to extract various bits of information that can be incorporated into a single image. “When I think of landscape,” Ken states, “I think of both the grandiose and the minute, the commanding mountain and the fine details of a plant leaf.” “There is so much richness and diversity in a landscape worthy of our attention,” he continues, “so why not explore it all!”

Marunowski’s approach to landscape in this workshop centers around a deep consideration of the elements of art: line, shape, color, value, texture, form and space. The task of the participant, then, is to locate elements in the landscape that correspond to these elements of art. For example, a winding canyon seen from above may speak to line while the bloom of a desert cactus may represent shape and color. Field studies and photographs will capture these elements in situ and will then be creatively redesigned in the studio into a single composition using a mixed-media approach (charcoal, pastel, acrylic paint, crayon, colored pencil, etc.).

To learn more about or to register for Ken’s workshop, please visit • Instagram @kenmarunowski

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