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Ken Potter   Ken Potter   Ken Potter  
Ken Potter   Ken Potter   Ken Potter  
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Ken Potter biography provided courtesy of “California Watercolors 1850-1970” By Gordon T. McClelland and Jay T. Last.

Kenneth Potter (1926- )... Born: Bakersfield, CA

Studied: San Francisco Academy of Art, Acad6mie Frochot (Paris), Institute Statale dei Belle Arte (Florence)

Member: Society of Western Artists.

Ken Potter is a third generation Californian. He grew up in Northern California during the Depression and began drawing regularly at an early age. While living in Sacramento, he received art instruction through a WPA. sponsored program. As a teenager, he visited the 1939 World's Fair art exhibit in San Francisco where he viewed works by many of the world's greatest artists. He was particularly excited about modern works, especially the French modernists.

After serving in WW11, Potter visited New York and Chicago before returning to San Francisco. Upon his return, he studied art on the G.I. Bill with Carl Beetz, Hamilton Wolf and Richard Stevens. Both Wolf and Stevens taught geometric abstractionist ideas in art. In addition, his interest in the watercolor medium was heightened after attending presentations by Millard Sheets and Dong Kingman.

Potter was painting expert watercolors by this time but felt he wanted additional instruction. He traveled to France and Italy and studied painting with famed Cubist Jean Metzinger. He attended less formal classes with Fernand L6ger and Albert Gleizes. In Italy, he received instruction in fresco painting and printmaking.

By the early 1950s, Ken presented one-man shows in Paris, San Francisco and Rio de Janeiro and contributed works to groups shows in New York and California. For a brief time, he lived in New York and Brazil and eventually returned to San Francisco. He settled into a flat in North Beach, which was the West Coast center for artists, poets, jazz musicians and philosophers, and began to paint. He painted watercolors daily, visiting the waterfront and Embarcadero where he produced depictions of ships, cranes and industrial objects. When they decided to tear down the old produce district, he did a series of paintings which are masterful works of art and serve as valuable historical documents.

...extended biography is available in McClellands "California Watercolors" book.

Kenneth Potter biographical information:

Interview with Ken Potter, 1990.

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