Ken Campbell


Stoney Bay, Water's Edge II

West Coast Artist Ken Campbell

Painters wield light and shadow to forge narratives. It is the shadows that give volume and solidity to objects; that suggest depth and distance that hold the promise to be revealed in time by light or keep obfuscated indefinitely. I have found that it is in the middle tones, the half-light, the partial shadows… where so much interesting stuff is revealed.


Born in Ontario into a “creative home” and growing up around Thunder Bay, Peterborough and Port Hope in 1950’s and 60’s, West Coast artist Ken Campbell was inspired to express his pas- sion for art from a very young age. His mother worked in kiln-formed glass and his father was an independent filmmaker and artist working in ceramics, welded steel, photography and painting.

Within this supportive family environment, Ken was given a strong foundation in the principles and techniques of visual arts under the mentorship of his father, HK Campbell, who remains one of his most important influences.

Having earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from Lake- head University, Ken returned to his pursuit of art, bringing his interest in humanities with him.

Like his early influences, Tom Thompson and the Group of Seven, many of whom were also commercial artists, through different stages of his painting career Ken wore many creative hats including editorial cartoonist, production artist, graphic designer, art director, creative director and book illustrator. In these too he was largely self-thought, embracing the on-job training that resulted in the emergence of a distinctive style and recognition in television, display, print, publishing and fine arts.

Working as a full-time fine art painter from his studio in Victoria, BC since 2001, Ken has also been teaching painting and drawing and conducting workshops in art school and atelier settings.

Created in a style based in realism with notes of impressionism and abstraction, Ken’s oil and acrylic canvases encompass seascapes, landscapes, figurative, still life and wildlife themes.

Ken Campbell is broadly recognized for his distinctive canoe series and we are honoured to introduce him to the art lovers in the Cowichan Valley through his unique interpretation of this quintessentially Canadian theme, infused with the spirit of adventure and reflecting his passion for remarkable places and contemplative moments.