Ken Conley was raised in northern Virginia. He earned a B.F.A. in painting with department and university honors from American University and an M.F.A. from Boston University with additional studies at the Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and at the New York Studio School with Stanley Lewis. He is highly experienced teaching college-level painting and drawing courses at all levels.

Before graduate school, Ken helped establish the early administration of the Washington Studio School and Courtyard Gallery. After graduate school, he returned to the WSS to teach as one of only two full-time faculty members and as co-chair of the board of directors.

Ken is a former assistant professor of art at Washington and Jefferson College, Washington, PA, and a former associate professor of art at Prince George’s Community College, Largo, MD, where he taught for over 15 years.


Ken’s teaching philosophy is straightforward. All visual art, regardless of style is important and worthy of our consideration. Content, or expression, is the core of all art forms. The student’s development and integration of skills, knowledge, and significant practice are basic requirements. Learning to understand and articulate pictorial content is necessary for the continuous growth of the painter.

Directed practice is important because it helps us move forward. With it, the student artist learns to communicate and recognize their thoughts and feelings through their marks. The student can then better accept and reject sensations most relevant to their experiences with the subject and the needs of the pictorial structure.

Painting and Drawing

“You just don’t see it. You feel it.”

Ken’s paintings and drawings are emotive. His work is the result of strongly felt sensations from external stimulus captured in paint or charcoal.

“Stay curious about even the most mundane.”

“I want to continuously challenge myself to paint different subjects without any preconceived ideas about the outcome.”

“I want to learn something from every painting encounter. If I learn something new, if I’m truly open and curious, these experiences are imbedded in my painting process and become visible to the viewer”.

Winslow Homer said, “When you paint, try to put down exactly what you see. Whatever else you have to offer will come out anyway.”


Onsite Draw & Paint the Figure, Still Life, and Landscape $325
Ken Conley
Tu, 4:00 PM-6:30 PM

Onsite Advanced Drawing $325
Ken Conley
W, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM

Offsite Landscape on Location $325
Ken Conley
Th, 1:00 PM-3:30 PM

Onsite Figure Drawing $325
Ken Conley
F, 7:00 PM-9:30 PM