From IL to New Mexico -- Helping Artists, Photographers, & Others at Lost Sky Ranch Find Their Focus
ORION NEBULA photograph, 11 x 17; Lost Sky Ranch owner, Ken Davy, states: "This is the type of photo that astronomers come here to take. It’s an expensive hobby with a lot of equipment but the results can be very satisfying." Scroll down for more artwork...
Not everyone can say they’re now living the dream, but that’s the word from former local artist, Ken Davy. He and his wife, JoAnn, reside off the grid in New Mexico after relocating there from Aurora, IL. Previously, Ken was very active in the Saturday morning art critique group that met at Jake’s Bagels in Aurora prior to the pandemic, and now on ZOOM. Ken credits this group, jointly founded by the well-respected George Shipperly and David Hettinger, with his artistic growth.
For their “retirement”, Ken and JoAnn now operate the Lost Sky Ranch – an astronomy photographer and artist retreat where guests can “find their focus.”
“Artists can come here and get centered without those constant interruptions,” Ken says. “It’s been shown that we get interrupted an average of every 10 minutes by pings from email, texts or phone calls. Each time this happens, it takes about 20 minutes to regain our concentration and get back into flow. Although we provide internet connection – technology is not banned – we offer an environment where people can finish a project, work without interruption, and find peace of mind.”
Alongside these ventures, Ken continues developing his own oil painting. He especially enjoys landscapes, narrative, figurative and anything else that captures his attention.
“I first began painting as an outlet for job stress fifteen years ago,” Ken recalls. Although Ken always enjoyed drawing as a child, his family steered him toward more practical career choices. Ken’s education was a combination of psychology and human resources.
Blessed with a calming personality, he excelled at talking highly frustrated computer tech customers “off the ledge” so they could actually explain their glitches and get them resolved. Within this customer service environment, Ken became known as the “solutions guy” and spent much of his work life on the road. Although he misses the team he once worked with, he enjoys no longer being a road warrior.
Right now, Ken is in the midst of producing paintings under his 50-50-50 plan: 50 paintings in 50 weeks for $50 offered to FACEBOOK friends. By producing this volume of work, he sees himself improving as a painter along with bringing joy to people interested in owning an affordable piece of original art.
“As I watch my five grandchildren grow, I think about how they will remember me,” Ken reflects. “I believe the art I leave behind is a way for them to know me and understand what life was once like. I’m hoping my work will be passed down through the generations and considered my legacy.”
Learn more at: Lost Sky Ranch
"HIS GOOD SIDE"; 11x14 Oil on gessoed paper; ARTIST STATEMENT: This red-tailed hawk had been shot through his other eye and can’t survive in the wild so this is his good side. Still wild. Still proud.
RA THE SUN GOD; 24x36 Oil on Canvas; ARTIST STATEMENT: Part of “The Universe Revealed” series that contrasts the mythological figure with how we know -- through science -- what the solar system looks today.
Rock Harbor – Isle Royal – 5x7 matted to 8x10 Oil on Canvas Panel ARTIST STATEMENT: This is one of my 50-50-50 paintings. Fifty paintings in 50 weeks for $50 each offered to my FaceBook Friends.
Matthiessen State Park – Fall 8x13 Oil on Gessoed Panel; ARTIST STATEMENT: A fall landscape that makes me miss the Midwest just a bit.
Brothers 11x14 Oil on Gessoed Panel; ARTIST STATEMENT: Knights' helmets before the joust. Brothers in arms. Perhaps having a conversation on who’s best.
Self-Portrait 16x22 Oil on Canvas Panel; ARTIST STATEMENT: Every artist should have at least one self-portrait. You learn so much by working on them. It’s getting to be time for an new one!