Ken McNeill

Our latest Welcome To Sanford Artist of the Week is Ken McNeill. A well-established local oil painting artist and member of the Sanford Brush & Palette Club, Ken’s focus is on the use of light and shadows to create his works of art. Ken’s art has been featured at the Miller Art Gallery in the Mann Center in Sanford, the Campbell House in Southern Pines and in exhibitions throughout the state, from Asheville to Aberdeen, in events such as the annual Brush & Palette Club Art Show. Ken recently displayed his work at the multi-media 2019 Carolina FiberFest in Raleigh.

An engineer by trade, Ken loves the contrast that painting introduces into his life, commenting “My eight-to-five as an engineer is structured by the laws of mathematics and physics. My work, to be valid, must be interpreted precisely and in the same way by anyone who utilizes it. My art is not bound by sets of laws or by time. I can freeze any moment I choose and take as long as I wish to create a painting or drawing. Heart and intuition are my guides. Anyone seeing my work will likely experience something different than I saw or felt while creating it. In art, we’re both right.”

A rural North Carolina native, Ken grew up surrounded by natural beauty, which he has grown to appreciate in much greater detail, now that he is inspired to capture these images and translate them into art. Ken notes, “I drive a truck, and I like old barns. I’ve drawn since childhood; but I took for granted the natural beauty of pastures, ponds, fields, and farm buildings. When I began to paint my surroundings, I truly began to see colors in shadows and the play of light around me.”

Although Ken enjoys painting a wide variety of subjects, it’s the country landscapes and coastal scenes he’s most familiar with, that are regularly featured. His current setting on a Sanford area farm often provides moments of inspiration.  As Ken tells it, “My wife’s obsession with spinning, knitting, and all things fiber inspired me to paint sheep, goats, alpacas, bunnies, and other farm animals, with the goal of expressing each one’s unique personality. Ironically, these are probably the subjects for which I’m best known today.”

Ken’s original paintings and prints are available for sale.  He’s also developed a compelling line of related merchandise, include products such as greeting cards and coffee mugs. Ken is also available for commissionable art projects. His work is also on display at ARTworks Vass. Learn more about Ken and his work at his website and Facebook page. Ken can be reached at or by filling out the contact form on his website.

Artist of the Week is a feature that is devoted to Sanford’s dynamic arts community and the hundreds of talented individuals who are a part of it. Painters — potters — performing artists — musicians and much more! If you, or someone you know, is deserving of recognition, please click here, or on the Artist of Week badge and fill out a nomination document.