03 February, 2007

Yellow and Blue

Yellow Trees in a Blue Forest, 9" x 7"
Original Pastel
Casey Klahn

Here is one of my pastels from the Colorist American Landscapes collection. It occurred to me that there was no bluer blue on Earth than the Sennelier blues that went into this favorite work. And, given the inherent lack of intensity in the yellows available to me, I was gratified by the solution that I arrived at for the yellows here.
I will add that after a year or so of dissatisfaction with the French Sennelier pastels, I had a re-awakening to their color quality. They are very pure and good, and I had the opportunity to relate this to their president of Savoir-Faire ( U.S. distributor ). They are as good a value, or better, than making your own sticks, which I also do. I so far haven't been able to resource a blue (ultramarine) as good as theirs. I also prodded him to get the good people in France to start making their bigger sheets of pastel paper again, and he was sympathetic to this. Unfortunately the answer from the higher powers was, essentially, GTH!


Philip said...

Have you ever been to the VVG museum in Amsterdam?

How much of VVG's work have you seen in the flesh? Did it live up to your expectations?

Casey Klahn said...

Good questions, Philip. BTW, your new look at your website is very nice, and I encourage everyone to go look at it by linking through from his name on this comment page.
I have only "virtual toured" the great museum in Amsterdam, unfortunately.
Coincidentally, my wife & I were talking about this very thing last night. I have seen 1 or 2 of his self portraits at a Seattle Art Museum venue, and Lorie has seen the sunflower work(s) at the National Gallery (Washington D.C.).
We were both impressed, and I want to emphasize to everyone the importance of actually seeing canvases in person.
The discrepancy between the printed page and the CRT screen and the real thing is notable. So much for our new era of the internet, which creates a false venue for the appreciation of images.
I took the effort of going to see my art hero's work in NYC last year, that being Wolf Kahn. It's an important thing to do to really know what you're looking at when you later must appreciate an artist's work through these "impostor" venues.
My analysis at the Seattle show was that the Impressionists in general were painting before the Cubists, and so I was noticing how the "unimportant" parts of their canvases were empty or dull. Cubism taught us to focus the whole picture. VG's portrait did not suffer from that, with swirling dabs of paint radiating from one eye throughout the whole canvas.
That's one reason why I posted a whole series of my works here last weekend. It's often a unique thing when we can see a body of art in one viewing, and it reveals a lot about the artist's work.

Casey Klahn said...

Post Script: Of course, I looked on the Savoir-Faire website, and it does appear that they list the 23" x 31.5" La Carte pastel card. My bad.
I'll have to see if it's actually in stock, now.

Mary Richmond said...

I saw a large number of Van Gogh's at the D'Orsay in Paris about 11 years ago--they have a large collection of their own but were having a special exhibition as well. It was pretty awe inspiring. I had seen the paintings in Boston and New York but nothing like several rooms full....How is the book? I wrote about Van Gogh's and Gaugin's symbiotic and then destructive (at least for Van Gogh) relationship many years ago in school and have looked at "The Yellow House" but have not picked it up. Yet.

Casey Klahn said...

Gayford's book is a "must read", and his credentials are high and well reflected in his book.
The amount of research that went into his book is stunning. How much did it rain in Arles on November 5th, 1888, and when did the rain stop? He knows. What and when did they cook in their studio, and what nights did they go out?
I must say that this level of detail about geography and anthropology has done more for my understanding of VVG's life timeline and circumstance than any other book. And now, I am picking up my Taschen, The Complete Paintings (VG) and enjoying it more. I guess that's high enough praise - it leaves one wanting more.
However, I still feel that the author/critic is wrong in his assessment of VG's work! Stay tuned here for more of my tantalyzing personal critique of the old guy.
Of course, my Gauguin knowledge is blossoming as well.

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