Tahlequah Daily Press

Features

July 2, 2013

Henson’s art takes on supernatural tones

TAHLEQUAH — An artist paints what he or she feels inside – as a musician performs and a writer puts pen to paper – because there is something to be expressed creatively.

For Kenny Henson, inspiration can be found in nature, in encounters with people and by the childhood stories of his family.

“I am inspired by stories my grandfather and my father told me when I was a child, about myths and legends as well as supernatural happenings during their time,” Henson said. “You will see a lot of unexplained things in my paintings, as well as brilliant colors that may not seem normal, but to me, that is what art is about, telling a story from the artist’s perspective.”

He’s been creating art and painting since he could hold a pencil and a brush.

“Even as a small child, I can remember looking at books with pictures of works of art from the masters, as well as our local artists, and thinking, ‘I want to paint like that someday,’” he said. “I would draw and color on every sheet of paper around our house,” he said.

His father noticed his son’s talent at an early age and bought watercolors and tablets for birthday presents.

“When I was about 4, and as I got older, I started painting with acrylic, because I like the effects I can achieve when the paint is layered and the effect of the deep brilliant colors, because, to me, it is all about colors.”

As a student in Tahlequah Public Schools, he learned a lot about artistic creativity, he said. At Tahlequah Junior High and High School he honed a lot of  his artistic skills. Junior high art teacher Mike Daniels taught him how to prepare for art show competitions.

“He knew my skills as an artist and showed me how to create works of art that the judges would key on, because I learned what you like is not always what the judges are looking for,” Henson said. “I won awards every year at the student art shows with Mr. Daniels guidance.”

His high school art teacher realized his talents and would let him paint pictures and do designs for school activities for extra credit, while the rest of the class did the scheduled art projects, he said.

“I was always known as the kid who could draw all through school,” he said.

Sports dominated his college days in Lawrence, Kan. He planned to become an art teacher, but sports became his priority at that time, so he stopped painting and played football and baseball instead.

“Finally, my career path took me to where I am today, but as I went through life, the urge to create and paint never left me,” he said. “I started a home studio where I could go design and create works of art as I was inspired.”

Henson, a computer-assisted design engineer for the Aerospace and Defense Division for 15 years, said his passion is being an artist, whether he’s painting or designing.

With a full-time job, travel is limited, so he attends four or five regional art shows and events a year including the Trail of Tears Art Show, Five Civilized Tribes Art Show, Indian Summer in Bartlesville, Red Earth, Cherokee Holiday Art Show and Arts on the Avenue.

He’s competed for about 25 years, winning many awards, but has never received “Best In Show.”

“I feel someday I will achieve this goal if I keep at it,” Henson said.

Recently, he entered a poster contest at the University of Washington in Seattle, promoting environmental health and won first place for the Southeastern region. He’s waiting to find out if he also won the overall winner designation.

“With limited creative time, my goal at this point is to paint one original painting a month,” he said. “I have been keeping up with this goal pretty well, even sometimes painting two pieces in a month, and my eventual goal is to be a full-time artist.”

Along with wife Carla, Henson lives on a small farm on the banks of Baron Fork Creek.

“I get a lot of my wildlife and nature inspiration there,” he said.

He has three children, the eldest is an engineer for IBM in Colorado, the middle child is a student at Missouri State and his youngest is a student at Northeastern State University.

“With my children all out of the home now I find I have a lot more time to paint and be creative,” Henson said.

Henson hopes youth will be inspired by the art and artists today.

“Our future generations can look back at our creativity and see our thought process and take from it to create their own masterpieces, because we will inspire them to not hold back on their creativity,” Henson said, “Because the love of art is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.”

1
Text Only
Features
  • rf-skydiver-tomahawk.jpg Former resident tapped for national skydiving award

    A man known locally for putting Tahlequah on the international map by bringing world-class skydiving events to town is being inducted in the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame in October.
    Norman Heaton said he’s very honored to be selected for the prestigious award given to people who have made significant contributions to the sport of skydiving.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20th-Amendment.jpg Inauguration day changed by 20th Amendment

    Sometimes an amendment is added to the U.S. Constitution that is uncontroversial and virtually unlitigated.
    Such is the 20th Amendment, which moved the seating of the new Congress and the presidential inauguration day to January, and enumerates procedure if a president-elect dies or cannot take office.
    Because the “Lame-Duck Amendment” addresses procedure, it is long.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-School-Fashion.jpg Fashion show to feature local teachers

    A fun fashion event that will provide funds for one lucky area school is coming up next weekend.
    Local teachers and students have until Tuesday, July 22, to sign up for the Teacher and Student Back 2 School Fashion Show at Arrowhead Mall in Muskogee.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-actress.jpg TV’s ‘Mistresses’ has second local tie

    Tahlequah has at least two ties to the TV drama “Mistresses.”
    Local florist Josh Cottrell-Mannon designed the flower arrangements for the show’s season finale, and Arriane Alexander, daughter of local resident Sharilyn Young, is portraying a television news reporter.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-Stark-Sequoyah.jpg Stark enjoys making a difference

    Kristin Stark, Sequoyah Elementary Teacher of Year, loves teaching, and has a desire to make a positive difference in the lives of children.
    “I love making a difference in the lives of children; it is a wonderful feeling to make a positive impact on a child,” said Stark.

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • sr-19thAmendment.jpg Women got the vote with 19th Amendment

    During its first 140 years, the United States Constitution underwent a series of changes intended to extend voting rights to those who were not white or didn’t own property - but as the American experiment entered the 20th Century, half the adult population still had no protection to vote.
    Though they certainly had political opinions, women could not cast a ballot in most states. That changed with passage of the 19th Amendment.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • renee-storyteller.jpg Cherokee, Tlingit storytellers to share their craft during special NSU event

    Two Native American cultures will be represented during a storytelling workshop featuring Cherokee Gayle Ross and Tlingit and Cherokee dancer and storyteller Gene Tagaban, of Seattle.

    July 10, 2014 1 Photo

  • 1-ts CN opt 1.jpg Cherokees commemorate Act of Union

    Cherokee Nation dignitaries met on the historic courthouse square Tuesday to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the Act of Union following the end of the Trail of Tears Removal.

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-vol-July.jpg Firefighting fills a big role for Kimble

    Community service is both work and volunteering for Cherokee County 911 Coordinator/Director Marty A. Kimble.
    Kimble is also fire chief for Gideon Volunteer Fire and Rescue, president of the Grand View School Board, and northeast regional vice president of OklaNENA (National Emergency Number Association).

    July 8, 2014 1 Photo

  • rf-artist-July-2.jpg Fulk discovered art talent after retirement

    It’s not unusual for retired folks to turn their hand to the arts. Count George Fulk among that number.
    The former optometry professor at Northeastern State University and bird-watching enthusiast has found he also has a talent for watercolor painting.

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you believe school administrators and college presidents in Oklahoma are paid too much?

Strongly agree.
Somewhat agree.
Somewhat disagree.
Strongly disagree.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Gen. Odierno Discusses Ukraine, NATO at Forum Gaza Fighting Rages Amid Cease-Fire Efforts Mint Gives JFK Coin a Face-lift Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
Stocks