29 May, 2007

Rough Drafts

My soon to be (self) published book is in it's rough draft. The subject, so far, is about intuitive process and color choices. I am spending so much time with the writing and formatting of the book, and with preparation for my first art fair of the summer, that I am going to put a "hold" on the historic Abstract Expressionist posting.

Don't worry, I'll still be reading and studying up on the famous artists. Have you found that the busier you get, the more important it becomes to still read?

The first "rough' text:

Red Veiled Forest
14" x 19", Pastel
Casey Klahn

Red curtained forests are a staple of my images created in the early part of the decade beginning in 2000. Don't assign too much meaning to the red in them; to me it's just an attractive color! The challenge comes in trying to make a believable landscape-one that reads as a landscape without too much thought on the part of the viewer-without pushing the red subject over the top. Will it hold up? Will it be a balanced composition?

Repetition is an old and venerable artist's tool. How much can this idea yield? Anything good enough for a successful painting must also have more than one story to tell. For me, the red theme has also provided a unifying element to the works made in these few years. And the lessons learned about controlling intense pigments have been invaluable.

Red Veiled Forest is an image that no matter how I tried, I just could not repeat. Some of the techniques used are understandable in formal terms. A partial sky, a few areas of paper peeking through to provide a depth to an otherwise (intentionally) flat composition. Alternating bands of temperature "compliments". These things are repeatable.

But it turned out that I couldn't even get close to the structure or composition again with any amount of success. Nothing else looked right. So balanced, so deep and full of red, so mysterious. I decided that it should remain in my own collection, thinking that some day I would understand the key to the mystery of how to make a painting like this.


Gay Pogue said...

Lovely painting, Casey. Red is such a deep color. Isn't it interesting that paintings are like people, even those that seem very alike are so very different?

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Gay, for the comments on the art and for posting to the blog.
Van Gogh put a lot of emphasis on the "portrait" in the landscape. I like that about him.

emily said...

I really enjoy your blog. Who are you using to self publish your book? I was thinking of trying that myself.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Emily.
I haven't decided between Blurb or Lulu. Both have no-fee set-ups or lay out software that you DL for free.
It appears that Blurb is way more expensive, and one gets probably better paper and the sizes and cover choices are better. But the per copy cost is (off the top of my head) maybe over double the cost.
I will be ordering one book from each soon to see what I think. Possibly, I may go hardbound with the expensive one, and softbound with the lesser one. Who knows?

Anonymous said...


I have an acquaintance who owns & manages a print-on-demand company. He makes quality stuff, and I will be ordering art prints from him soon (my new computer came today, bwahahaha!). His prices for art and books look very reasonable. You may want to check out his site: http://www.rapidpod.com/

Robyn Sinclair said...

I can see why you kept this one, Casey it is entrancing. Good luck with your publishing venture. How exciting!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful work Casey! I love the darkness to it. Gives it a mysterious look. Great work!

jafabrit said...

Just beautiful! Look forward to hearing how the book comes along.

Philip said...

Of course, your great talent is to be able to convey the mystery to us! I am sure it comes from your soul and it is always there for you.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, everyone.

Anonymous said...

I thought I was the only artist who, every once in a while, would create a painting so beyond my own abilities that the attempt to recreate the event is absolutely futile. I think the secret lies in painting like a child, which is harder than it sounds. I enjoyed running across your blog.

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