Ken Spencer

J. Ken Spencer was born in Ogden, Utah.  He began painting at the age of 14, studying with local artists and teachers.  Spencer pursued hisinterest in art at Utah State University (Logan, Utah) where he gained fundamental knowledge in composition and form, he also developed skills such as draftsmanship and paint application while working from live models.  He graduated in 1993 earning a Bachelor’s Degree of Illustration. 
After finishing his work at the university, he moved his family to the New York Metropolitan area where he worked as an illustrator for book publishers and magazines.  It was at that time when Mr. Spencer began developing his fine art career by painting for exhibition in galleries and juried shows.  He has exhibited his work in New York, New Jersey,

Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Virginia, Arkansas, Georgia, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Idaho, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, and California.  He has been included in such shows as the Oil Painters of America (2004 Award), American Miniatures Show (Settler’s West, Tucson, AZ), Scottsdale Artist’s School- Best and Brightest (Best of Show), The Harrisburg PA Art Association (winning Best of Show), and National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society (Monteverde Award). After living on the East Coast for seven years he moved his family back to the West where he now pursues his fine art career full time.  He and his family reside in the small town of Blackfoot, Idaho.

Mr. Spencer is an avid plein air painter where he faces the challenges and joys of painting in the open air.  “Painting on location gives me a chance to see new things, to see different light conditions and to regularly feel the creative juices.  When I paint in plein air I see the subtle colors of nature, and with all the information out there, I can make the best design choices for the subject I am working on.”  Spencer also works on larger scale paintings in the studio. 
Ken has traveled to France, Italy, Germany, England and the Czech Republic to paint on location and gather reference to paint.  He spent time in Paris, Brittany, Normandy, Florence, Venice, Tuscany and the Cinque Terre, Bavaria, Prague and Bohemia.  These areas are rich in visual textures and imagery.  He spent time painting the small villages, large cites, coastal regions, and the people of Europe.  All of these trips have generated many wonderful images and strengthened his abilities as a painter.   He continues to travel locally and abroad to search out new inspiration. 


  • Oil Painters of America National Exhibit -2004, William Schneider Award of Excellence
  • National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society, Monteverde Award. 1999
  • Awarded Signature Member status- Oil Painters of America- September, 2004
  • Best of Show, Scottsdale Artists School – Best and Brightest show 2006
  • Honorable Mention for Artistic Excellence- Salon International 2012

Bachelors degree of Illustration- Utah State University


  • Brigham Young University, Idaho
  • Blackfoot Performing Arts Center, Idaho
  • Many private commissions

Commercial Work

  • 1993- Current- Freelance illustrator. 
  • Primarily illustrations for book covers.


  • Dunnegan Museum- Bolivar, MO
  • LDS Museum of Art and History- Salt Lake City, UT
  • Brigham Young University, Idaho- Rexburg, ID


  • Southwest Art Magazine - August Issue, 2012
  • Southwest Art Magazine- “Artists to watch” December 2003
  • SkyWest Magazine- May/June 2006
  • American Art Collector- November 2007
  • Southwest Art Magazine, Show review- July 2012
  • Guest Lectures and WorkshopsBrigham Young University, ID
  • Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID
  • Port Townsend, WA