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Ken Hunt - Artist

My name is Ken Hunt otherwise known as Lazarus. I have always painted off and on, but in January 1989 I had a serious accident on my Harley Davidson motorcycle which almost proved fatal. As a consequence I was forced to close my existing business to concentrate solely on painting.

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Firstly, I believe every artist has an agenda. Mine is to inspire and uplift. No-one can compete with the marvels of creation, but it is my aspiration to try to capture a moment in time in such a way, as to bring a lasting tangible feeling of appreciation for the beauty of nature, specifically, that which inspired the artwork to begin with.

 I have  painted off and on, since 1972, and still have a loyal following of collectors who purchased my works back in the early years, but it wasn't until 1990 I that I closed my business to concentrate solely on painting. I am largely self taught... more by necessity than design. (There are no classical art schools in NZ). However under the private tuition of several internationally recognized artists, namely A.M.E. Bale Prize Winner Chris Browne, and Paul Hunt,( who was commissioned to paint a portrait of Prince Charles) I learnt the correct handling of paint. From them I learnt to paint in the classical realist technique as taught in the academic Ateliers of the 19th century. I honed my painting skills, and went full-time in 1991. 

Initially concentrating  on portraiture, I also branched out into copying old masters- originally to understand traditional painting techniques- but later in response to public demand. In 1995 I began to copy C F Goldie"s  portraits of Maori Chiefs, and for more than 10 years I could not keep up with the demand. In 1997 Peter Jackson added two to his collection. This was the beginning of an ongoing relationship with members of the film community. I have numerous paintings hanging in the homes of a number of well known international identities. I have also done some film and TV work, the most significant being four portrait paintings for the first installment Lord of the Rings. To my profound embarrassment images of these paintings were displayed on the stage at the Academy Awards as Peter Jackson was presented with his Oscar.

For 15 years I painted solely on commission, and very rarely exhibited in art galleries. In 2006 I had my first one man exhibition, opened by Richard Taylor,  and have had many since.  Nearly all of my commissioned work comes from word of mouth, although I have been interviewed several times over the last few years, in the Dominion Post and on prime time TV, and some work has come from these interviews. My commissions  range from formal public portraits of  army officers, scientists, mayors, cabinet ministers, headmasters etc, to intimate private portraits of loved ones. 

My wife and I are involved in bird rescue. Between us we have hand reared everything from blackbirds ( my wife singlehandedly fed 50 babies in one season......each one, individually, every hour!), to Kotare, and Tuis. This love of birds has inspired me to produce a considerable number of paintings of NZ natives, (as well as many sparrows!) Also, my love of the  NZ landscape has  resulted in a number of  mountain portraits.( As a teenager I worked for Parks and Reserves on Mount Taranaki, hence my love of the rugged outdoors)

My Technique

All artwork is done with artist-quality oils. Budget paintings are done on canvas panels. Medium level are painted on stretched canvas, with deluxe quality completed on finest linen. All work is done in my large purpose built studio attached to the rear of my house. Portraits start with a photography session to establish lighting and pose options. Once a pose has been decided on I start on the painting and complete it using a combination of live sittings and photography. The entire process takes approximately one month. Copies take about the same time.

For commissions or questions please fill in the contact form below. I look forward to hearing from you. 

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