The Alchemy of Painting: Art by Howard Kaneg

Howard Kaneg-Alchemy of Painting

Stepping into Howard’s front room, surrounded by his many large acrylic paintings, I was immediately impacted by the vivid pure colors and the currents of movement inviting me to enter into magical spaces, to leave behind the day and enter rhythms of weather, water, and foliage, to move into currents, orbs, and spirals of energy. The large canvases transported me into their music and mystery, singing with clear translucent hues.

To experience Howard’s art is to feel the multidimensional levels of our daily existence, our waking, dreaming, and contemplative life. His paintings locate us in nature, sea, and mountains, engaging the power of the elements along with language, sacred words gracing the canvases.

Howard’s paintings take us on a journey of discovery. They awaken our associations through his skillful mix of perspectives, shapes, and line. The juxtaposition of imaginative form and patterns, portals and veils, engage us with our own perceptions and wonder. The more we look, the more we see, dimensions shift. What wasn’t form becomes form and recognizable. We are pulled in, our senses and memories activated. The elegant and whimsical merge. Invisible energetic fields become visible, a shaman’s journey to connect with the spirit of life.

Howard says of his work, “The forms outside become the structure of the painting but not it’s essence…Art is about exploration. The further away from what you know, that’s when you create art….The aim is to connect with currents occurring outside in what you see. Once you connect, you come into endless possibilities and that’s what you are looking for.”

Howard’s artistic influences read like poetry, tracking what held mystery, meaning, and interest artistically. Aboriginal art, Japanese Tattoo art, woodprints by Hiroshi, Buddhist paintings, Diego Rivera’s art, the painting /drawing of William T. Wiley, Dr. Bob, Native American primitive artist, Big Daddy Roth and the Surf Hot Rod Culture, Rick Griffin, the original artist for Surfer magazine, the mysticism of different cultures, Chinese hieroglyphics, ancient Greek writing, the Kabbalah, Balinese symbolism of Hindu Animism. “The process is Self exploration, finding the Self and losing the self.” Through his studies of the Taoist Marshall Art, Shen Ming Kung Fu, or Bright Wisdom Spirit, Howard works at refining his character which serves the maturing of his work. “You can’t do the work of the artist if you are in your own way. The aim is to allow one’s greater nature to come through. That is where all potential is.”

—Susan Heinz

Susan is a teacher, painter, and astrologer who lives in Soquel, CA:

Howard Kaneg is a painter who lives in Santa Cruz, CA: Facebook  |

All Artwork © Howard Kaneg, all rights reserved. Text © Susan Heinz, all rights reserved
Photography by David Reese
click to enlarge


9 thoughts on “The Alchemy of Painting: Art by Howard Kaneg

  1. An online museum… what a great idea, with tons of potential. Howard’s work is wonderful, compelling and lyrical, and pulls you in, like a dream. The text suits the images so well too. Congrats, I look forward to what will follow!

  2. Thank you for this opportunity to explore the transformative beauty, poetry and peace of Howard Kaneg’s work.

  3. Thank you to Susan Heinz for her amazingly beautiful, insightful and poetic writing about Howard’s work. Also many thanks to Betsy Anderson and Allison Carrillo for believing in Howard’s art and including him in this very special honor. Also, thank you David Reese for his expert professional photography.
    With Gratitude,
    Nancy Kaneg

  4. I feel Howard Kaneg is the master at transferring intricate feelings into his art. I love every brush stroke.

  5. Betsy ,so fantastic of you and your efforts to help Howard recieve the recognition he deserves as a artist……I have been watching Howards work evolve since we were kids,,,,,,from Murph the surf,,,,,to the fantastic work of today……….
    Congrats for this fantastic site. aloha to all !

  6. Howard Kaneg’s paintings are a pleasure. Dreamy, full of organic line and delicate tendrils, they have a cloisonne like appearance. And Susan Heinz so graciously ushers us into the experience of them.
    Thank you , janet trenchard

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