Ken Symonds studied art in London in the 1950s travelling widely and undertaking drawing commissions in Africa before moving to Cornwall in 1960. He painted extensively, making landscape sketches around Penwith, completing the works in his studio, a converted church in Newlyn which has panoramic views over the bay towards St Michael’s Mount. Ken died in August 2010.
The landscape of West Cornwall is a central theme to much of Ken’s work. Coastal scenes, lighthouses, cliffs, moors, hamlets and disused tin mines often feature but it is the light and tonality that define his style. Oil paintings which had been his main medium for painting gradually became less frequent and most of Ken’s later work was in watercolours or pastels. In addition to his landscapes, Ken was also a recognised painter of nudes.
Ken painted and exhibited across the UK, Europe, America, Africa and Asia. His work is widely held in both public and private collections internationally. He was a member of the Penwith Society of Artists, a former Chairman of the Newlyn Society of Artists and was invited to become a member of the Pastel Society in 1990.