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Acrylic Artist Magazine  / Acrylic Works 2  /   Mystical, magical art by Lyn Odom 
Artisans & Ira Kennedy by ROBERT DEMING
Ira Kennedy, Paints in Aboriginal Dreamtime by Josh Leidolf
C-Spot Magazine


Article from C-Spot Magazine / June 2015
If you choose to print select pages 2-5.
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ACRYLIC ARTIST MAGAZINE / SUMMER 2015wpe4.jpg (50940 bytes)
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Mystical, magical art


Published: March 13, 2013

If you walk past a piece of Ira Kennedy's artwork, you do a double take, back up and take a good, long look. His paintings are fascinating. With brilliant colors, swirls and dots, Kennedy paints near-realistic landscapes that from afar don't reveal the detail of brushstrokes you see up close. In other pieces Kennedy creates mystically primitive works that are surreal, mythical and visceral.

"Although my work has been described as Pointillism, it is more aligned with Australian Aboriginal Paintings, Oaxacan-painted sculptures and the art of the Huichole Indians of Mexico, who all use dots as the primary brushstroke," Kennedy said.

Kennedy said his process is to take a painting from a dull state to one of brilliance using dots to create visual shimmer, so the work is to be sensed more than viewed.

"The paintings are not an object for the eye alone, but an experience for the mind -intimating, not imitating, that which is indescribable," he said. "Although I can paint what I see, I have chosen to paint what can't be seen. I now see my works as being mythological explorations immersed in a primal and eternal visual truth." Kennedy is inspired by nature, particularly as depicted by such artists as Van Gogh, Birger Sandzen and artists of the Southwest.

"It's all about movement, color and content," Kennedy said.

How long does painting one takes? "I generally have at least one painting lingering on the back burner while painting another," Kennedy said. "My smaller paintings, like 16x20-inches, take about one to two weeks. Larger pieces, like 24x36-inches can take up to a month or as much as three months." Kennedy prefers painting larger landscapes of the Texas Hill Country. "For me painting is a nonverbal experience so I generally listen to classical music and try not to think too much or over-analyze what I'm doing."

What he does is a visual delight that electrifies one's thinking. His works are available at Artisans at Rocky Hill in Fredericksburg, The Llano Fine Arts Guild and at Kennedy's studio at 9620 North State Highway 16. You can contact Kennedy by logging on to his website at www.irakennedy.com. Prices range from $150 to $3, 000.

Copyright (c) 2013 Lake County Life, All rights reserved.

Artisans & Ira Kennedy


When visiting Artisans at Rocky Hill in Fredericksburg, Texas, you will see an abundance of beautiful and tantalizing art: traditional oils, furniture, pottery, wind powered kinetic sculpture. Among these many beautiful creations, several paintings will almost jump off the wall at you, demanding attention. These are the works of Ira Kennedy.

Born in a tent near San Saba in 1941, son of a migrant worker, descendent of a Cherokee great grandmother, Ira has re-surfaced in the Hill Country visual arts world. Both Ira and his family knew he was an artist very early, and by his twenties he found himself living in New York City, his art in a group show which included Andy Warhol.

Ira became disenchanted with the art world and found himself back in the Hill Country, where he lived as a freelance writer, wrote special features for Texas Monthly, Texas Highways, the Marble Falls Highlander, and other magazines and newspapers. For five years he published the iconic Enchanted Rock Magazine, with tantalizing stories about local history not found elsewhere. During some of this time Ira lived adjacent to Enchanted Rock, wrote a history of The Rock, and eventually won two National Press Association awards for environmental journalism.

Although Ira was a competent landscape painter, he wanted to be different. As he told me, "Either you are original, or why bother?" A visit to Australia and aboriginal art was an epiphany for him. He formed his unique style combining Native American symbolic images, Mexican primitive, pop art, and aboriginal pointillism. When I saw one of his paintings during First Friday Art Walk, at another gallery in Fredericksburg, and met Ira Kennedy for the first time, I didn’t know what to think of it, I just knew him for the Enchanted Rock Magazine and as author of a history of Enchanted Rock. As I have gotten to know him and his story, I have come to see his art as an extraordinary blend of spiritual mystery and natural beauty, as utterly unique in a sea of excellent Hill Country art. A viewer cannot be ambivalent about Ira’s paintings; they demand attention, they tug at your soul, they will not leave you alone.

Years ago, Ira found and traced some very old rock art near Valley Spring, in Llano County, and this led him to study and research the symbols. Eventually, he crafted this interpretation, which is his daily prayer:

"Almighty God, creator and animator of the universe, embodiment of all things, that of which I am, please manifest this prayer:

"Thunderbird, carry this prayer to the sun father; that the future may be bright among us, bright and everlasting, as the nourishing water of the earth mother. May it be bright above us, may it be bright below us; in the daytime may it be bright, in the night time may it be bright. May the path that we follow be filled with plenty, and our numbers merge with our prayer. Thunderbird carry this prayer to the sun god, it is finished in beauty, it is finished in beauty."

Ira Kennedy, and his art and writing, can be found on Facebook, www.irakennedy.com, and at the Artisans at Rocky Hill, 234 West Main Street, Fredericksburg, Texas.


Other items In The News:

Ira was featured in the Austin Chronicle, The Highlander newspaper (below) in Marble Falls, The San Marcos Record, and the German magazine Spotlight, as well as segments on KLRU-TV & KTBC-TV, plus several area radio stations including the syndicated "The Sound of Texas," with Tumbleweed Smith, and the syndicated TV program Texas Country Reporter ( the video "Bob Phillips Tours Texas State Parks" available at their website).

Ira was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Texas Parks& Wildlife Department for providing numerous educational talks at Enchanted Rock State Natural Area. Feature articles by Ira  have been published by Texas Monthly, Texas Highways Magazine and in The Nature of Texas (hardcover anthology) Texas A&M Press. 

Considered as the state's leading authority on Enchanted Rock, the  sacred mountain of Central Texas, Ira has assisted the authors of several published books. articles and the Thomas Evans mural in the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport.   Ira was also featured in the Austin Chronicle, The Highlander newspaper in Marble Falls, The San Marcos Record, and the German magazine Spotlight, as well as segments on KLRU-TV, KTBC-TV,  "The Sound of Texas," with Tumbleweed Smith, and the syndicated TV program Texas Country Reporter (video "Bob Phillips Tours Texas State Parks" available at their website).

Southern California Art Galleries / Myths, Legends & Folklore