12 February, 2010

Variegated Tree


Variegated Tree
@ 7" x 5"
Pastel
Casey Klahn

17 comments:

loriann said...

Love the colors in this one. That violet touching the green gold is brilliant. Paint on!

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

So far, your prairie paintings are small. Is there a connection between their size and your ideas about the prairie?

Your strokes are sure and confidently placed. The right stroke in the right place with the right color/value. A sign of a msster!

Lisa McShane said...

Really interesting color Casey. I'm curious - do you think of the area where you are as the prairie?

petra voegtle said...

Hi Casey, looking forward to see more of this series. I like especially this one - brilliant composition of colours!!!

Casey Klahn said...

Since I did this one last year (it's actually framed) I get to go back and make these observations from a remove of time. I like your view of the vio./green gold, Loriann. I think that green is a Terry Ludwig, and I am always looking for the perfect Olive Green - I think this guy Johnny comes into my studio at night and takes away my OG colors. Just kidding.

That is an interesting play of warm on cool, which is something I don't attend to often(temperature).

Yes, I think the size is telling, and I thought about that when I posted these two, Katherine. My pat answer is that I feel that art is contained in the picture, and not so much the size. I think that size becomes a part at the point of display, and I think of those huge Rothkos and Pollocks in museums.

OTOH, economy and market have an effect on my choice to do small works. And, when I grew up drawing for hours a day as a child, these were my sizes, and mostly they were contained within 8.5" x 11" pieces of paper.

I will also say (with some introspection, here) that there is timidity in this at the start of a new series. Again on the other hand, I have been in the studio non-stop for 2 weeks, and my new works are in the middle sizes. Hmm.

Thanks, Katherine! I am not a master, but I guess I was well focused when I did paint these.

Stay tuned for more and fresh images.

Kelly M. said...

wonderful work -- small often invites a sense of intimacy between the subject and the viewer, making one pause. I like the richness of your colors, very "old world," like a medieval tapestry --

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Lisa. I wanted to compliment you on your tonalist work of the road area between you and Anacortes. Very evocative, and I think the compositions are wonderful, too.

That's a good question about the prairie. I will always and ever think of the prairie as those small flat areas in western Washington that were burned by natives to create hunting grounds. There are a number of them, in particular, on Ft Lewis by Tacoma. That's because of my upbringing in the area.

But, I guess the average person thinks about the big areas of grassland (the new term I think is "tallgrass prairie") of the states in the Midwest such as Iowa and Kansas.

I live in wheat land, which is similar to the Palouse. They even filmed the big wheat scenes for a Superman movie here many years ago. One thing, too, is what we call "the breaks," which is the transition zone between wooded and hill country, and the wheat lands or prairies.

I will distinguish wheat country from prairie, although the dictionary says that prairie may nor may not be natural grassland. We do have many areas of @ 40 or more acres of virgin prairie, which is to say, ground that has never been broken out for agriculture. Then again, you have property like mine that is almost 40 acres of re-planted grasses but formerly agriculture.

So, I guess I do consider it prairie, although not the iconoclastic whole-state-of-prairie land that exists in the Midwest. Maybe in the future I will expand upon the breaks theme, but I do envision some very rolling ground and also treed areas within prairie land for this series.

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you, Petra!

Kathy said...

Oooo - love the palette and directionality of this piece. Is it part of your new series?

Casey Klahn said...

Yes, it is, Kathy. But, it is from the very beginning of the idea last year. Now to see how things go in the here and now. I am finally back in the studio after a 2 day break. Fighting some kind of cold, but I like what I left in the studio the other day.

Your friend, clunking around in the dark...

Jala Pfaff said...

Awesome as always! Is the high value on the right un-pastelled paper showing through, or is it high-value pastel?
I'm especially intrigued by the peach color you have in the background. It seems a very sophisticated choice--one I wouldn't have thought to use. And it works so well.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Jala. Do you mean the sky or the foreground? Both are pastel. The paper color is the gray La Carte, which does show through in spots.

I see the peach as not sophisticated, but my choices are very different than the standard way that pastel is taught. I focus on the hue, value and chroma(intensity) aspects of color, and I try to avoid being too interested in temperature. So, in this instance, the warm peach acts as a neutral, without being a brown - but an actual form of the six major hues.

So, here we have a warm color behind a cooler, which creates a pop or a differential of one from the other. Some flattening occurs, but that is a Modern idea, rather than a representational one. That I like.

The hue versus brown rationale is in keeping with my ideas of bringing intensity wherever possible.

I noticed that I chose the peach in the same value as the green foreground, which also adds to the flattening effect.

Now you know a bunch of my secrets.

Brian McGurgan said...

It's great to see the prairie series unfolding in your recent posts, Casey. I like the composition you've chosen with the high horizon and well-placed trees. I'm also enjoying the color surprises - the violet in this one and the intense blue in the previous painting. Beautiful handling of the skies in both pastels as well... Looking forward to seeing more!

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you for the detailed look, Brian. I am "unpacking" these (to use a new and already overused expression) as I go and wondering what I will pick for the series content.

It'll be fun to watch for me, too.

layers said...

Glad you stopped by my blog-- I like your pastels very much-- impressionistic, personal and unique.

Casey Klahn said...

Hi, Donna. I saw your blog Layers at the 27 Blogs to Watch link, and realized that I've seen your beautiful blog before from time to time - and I immediately hit the follow button.

I see, too, that you are from Camano Island. I just finished a two year run of having my art at the gallery in Langley (Whidbey Island) but they changed hands - such is life.

Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to following your blog.

Lisa McShane said...

Casey - thanks for the kind words on Anacortes Gap 2. I'm so excited about my new paintings right now that I wake up at 4:30 thinking about them, excited to get to the studio. It's going well.

Prairie - I agree. I believe we've come to think of the 'great prairie' as the only one, and it is remarkable in its scale, but native grassland exists in many areas including your area. The grassland near you is one of my favorites and I see the colors of that land in your pastels.

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