My Mother-in-law Doesn’t Need To Apologise

The Penguin Book of Art Writing Cover Page

My mother-in-law Judith is a fantastic gift giver. The reason I think she is so admirable is that she’s got this impressive capacity for empathy. I can see that when I look at the gifts, she’s given to me. I’m a crap gift giver. It makes me feel bad because if someone can give you…

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A Spirit of Independence Dawns

Mosman Dawn by Ken Rasmussen - Oil on Canvas

I didn’t kill anyone. None of us did that day. We were all very lucky. My first lesson about how institutions work didn’t end up costing the lives of several young men. However, it came very close. As an art student, I was part of the Army Reserve. I was a member of the 10th…

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A Review of Janet Hawley’s Conversations with Australian Artists

Janet Hawley - Artists In Conversation Review by Ken Rasmussen

I wonder if you’ve come across the book Janet Hawley: Artists in Conversation? It’s an essay collection reflecting on the work of some of Australia’s most famous artists. I’d read references to this book a couple of times but had never actually seen it. Happily, a friend lent it to me a few weeks ago.…

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My Gallery Assistant Is Bonkers

Art Gallery Assistant - Bonkers

You can’t survive as a painter unless you’re happy to work alone. I certainly need time to think through problems and reflect on what I’ll paint next. That said, I do enjoy a little company sometimes. I found the companion I was looking for at the Cat Haven. My five-year-old black cat is called Bonkers.…

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Making Art and a Happy Life

The Journey Ken Rasmussen

I’m fifteen, and I’m coming home from school on the train. It’s winter, so it’s already dark. I had this feeling come over me. I suddenly knew I wanted to be an artist. It wasn’t just a thought or a possibility. I felt completely certain. A reassuring sense of warmth swept over me as I…

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