Kenneth Nunamaker never took a formal art lesson. His “training” began during his travels out West as a young man, where he painted in his spare time. It continued informally throughout his career in commercial art, as he took sketching and painting excursions in the countryside. He said he acquired “the rudiments of design, form, color, and composition in the hard schools of commercial art studios.” But despite this experience the artist’s strongest artistic foundations came from a direct observation of nature. He often spoke of translating the landscape around him into shapes on the canvas.
Nunamaker moved to Philadelphia and not long after bought a home along the Delaware River at Center Bride. There he met Edward Redfield, a guiding force behind the New Hope School of painting, who painted nearby. Redfield mentored Nunamaker, meeting with him weekly and reviewing his work. Nunamaker also befriended Daniel Garber and several other artists affiliated with the New Hope School, and soon became a prominent member of the artists' community. Among this group and to most of the people who knew him Nunamaker was beloved.