30 April, 2010

Degas, French Papers and Pastel Love

Do you need to save money on paper?  Do you have a pile of unfinished works on La Carte paper?  See my report on how I have been reclaiming this paper incorrectly identified as too sensitive to re-use.

While you are thinking about your pastels, indulge in some huge Edgar Degas visuals:

26 April, 2010

Artist's Quotes

"An artist is not paid for his labor, but for his vision,"  James McNeill Whistler.

"There are more valid facts and details in works of art than there are in history books,"  Charlie Chaplin.

"My theory is that all of Scottish cuisine is based on a dare, Mike Myers.

"There is no must in art because art is free,"  Wassily Kandinsky. 

"The creative artist seems to be almost the only kind of man that you could never meet on neutral ground. You can only meet him as an artist. He sees nothing objectively because his own ego is always in the foreground of every picture,"  Raymond Chandler. 

"Art is either plagiarism or revolution,"  Paul Gauguin. 

"Any artist should be grateful for a naive grace which puts him beyond the need to reason elaborately,"  Saul Bellow.

"Art is the proper task of life,"  Friedrich Nietzsche.

"What good are computers? They can only give you answers,"  Pablo Picasso.

19 April, 2010

Memorials and Memories


Sometimes a guy needs to pause and reflect.  "...a guy."  That's a phrase my late dad used to say.  His youngest brother recently passed away, and I said words and a prayer at his memorial on Saturday.  Uncle Don was 82, and is survived by only one sister, my Aunt Anita.  Don was preceded in death by his siblings.  All eleven of them.  The story of my grandparents, their thirteen children and their pioneering life is a unique American one.  Uncle Don's is unique, too.

Grandpa Max and Grandma Anna homesteaded in the land that time forgot, the Olympic Peninsula.  Think Twilight, only without the amenities.  By no amenities, I mean no electricity.  Did I mention no road, either?  Max hiked the Olympic beach to get to work during the Great Depression, which was a hundred miles plus a little.  The Indians rafted him across the rivers he couldn't ford.  He worked in the logging and port towns of Hoquiam and Aberdeen.

Max and Anna had 13 children, and the seven brothers all went off to war.  My father, Kenneth K. Klahn, saw heavy combat in Italy.  The youngest boy, Don, wanted badly to get in the army and fight the Second World War with his six brothers, but the Sole Survivor Policy prevented that.  So, he got drafted and fought the Korean War instead.  How is that for irony?  I can't say if my seven serving uncles and father is an unprecedented thing, but it is noteworthy.  Where will we get men like that now?

My Grandfather, Max Klahn, is the young boy pictured @ the top right. Next to him at his left are Henry, my Great Grandfather and Charlotte, my Great Grandmother. Location: Quillayute Prairie, WA. Date: 1895. This place is about the rainiest spot in the US.

This weekend, in my home town of Hoquiam , I wanted to continue my series of paintings about the river complex.  Of course, it rained and so I sat in the truck and drew the mist on trees.  I made further arrangements for a show of these works and checked out the venues from the curb.  It will be a special event, I am sure.  The tentative date is a year from September.

My Hoquiam High School class of 1976 have found each other on Facebook, and 25 of us and some family and friends got re-acquainted in Olympia Saturday evening.  One thing we enjoyed so much in the seventies was dancing to loud rock and roll.  How sore can a guy be after dancing and making merry like we did that night?  Ouch.  I haven't had that much fun in a long time.  Every face I saw recalled for me endless good times and fun that we had in our school days.

I was to get together with another high school and college friend on Sunday.  We made the arrangements to meet because his wife was undergoing cancer treatments and he wouldn't be able to come out.  When I called that morning he informed me that his wife had passed away Friday night in the hospital in Seattle.

Can a guy have a fuller heart than I have right now?  I doubt it.  I am back home with my family, today.  I showed Lorie some photos that my aunt gave me when I visited with her.  Aunt Geri and I sat at the dining table, in front of the big corner windows that Uncle Don looked out of for so many years in Hoquiam.  Looking out at the rain, of course.  The week he died, he "saw" my late father as clear as day, she said.  He remarked, "here comes Kenny.  He's coming for me now."
Rest in peace, Melanie, Don, Dad and the Klahn siblings.  I love you.

Top Photo: Lorie Klahn

13 April, 2010

Copy of Mary Cassatt, After Degas

Mary Cassatt, After Degas
@ 24" x 36"
Charcoal & Pastel
Casey Klahn

See my hommage to Mary Cassatt here.

10 April, 2010

Sketching Right

Sketch Landscape
4.5" x 7.28"
Charcoal on Sketch Paper
Casey Klahn

I don't know if you can get more power from a methodical sketch, than from a quick one.  My vote is for the quick, intuitive drawing.  An interesting thing happened with this one.  I wanted to transfer it to a larger pastel sheet, and thought that it was close to the golden rectangle proportions.  In the studio, I always go straight to this tool to find the ratio of the golden rectangle.  I entered the short side of my sketch, which was about 4.5", and the long side was about 7.28," give or take .01".  When I plugged 4.5 into the finder, it said that the golden ratio would be 4.5 to 7.28 - what a coincidence!  I was duly happy.  The ratio for my transfer would be 9:14.56.

A short article on the Golden Rectangle at Pastel: Gimme Five.

For no particular reason, I'm needing some music with the next few posts. "Can't this train outrun those kids?"

05 April, 2010

Color Prairie

Color Prairie Sketch
Charcoal & Pastel
Casey Klahn

Here is a charcoal thumbnail sketch and a color study.  The finished painting will be posted in the future.

01 April, 2010

Free Blog

I'm still blogging, and while I'm at it the studio has been in full fiddle.  Above is a studio on-the-easel image, and I want to begin posting from my sketchbook, as well.  Here is the first of these.

Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism