I was more than saddened to hear my old friend Ken Howard has passed away.
A brilliant painter of light with an ebullient personality, Ken was the son of a Kilburn carpenter.
He got his breakthrough as an artist covering ‘The Troubles’, commissioned by the Imperial War Museum, though not officially a war artist.
He was always popular and collectible but also an inspiration to other painters.
His personal life was certainly not free of tragedy.
His first marriage to a designer for Wallis Shops failed largely because he was still in love with German painter Crista Gaa. Her family was dubious of his prospects and she married a Herr Hartman.
However, they got together again but only two years later she died of cancer.
His third wife Dora met him whilst he was painting in the Campo San Stefano, Venice.
Ken was Professor of Perspective at the Royal Academy.
He was also a stalwart of the New English Art Club. He deserved greater critical acclaim but was always widely liked.