12 November, 2007


Stumbling upon
an artist that you like is a wonderful thing. I found Rachel Dory of Seattle via the Seattle Art Blog this morning. She has a show currently up at the Gallery 3131.

Her very fresh work floods in a host of thoughts, intersections and associations for me. The
U-Turn, To The Gorge and Back hanging is a narrative of driving out of the city and heading east over the Cascade Mountains and into the climatically different Eastern Washington. "Gorge" refers to the Columbia River's deep cut and is a major landmark of our region. Her urban themes remind me of what Rachel Maxi has done for Seattle urban-themed art.

This theme is reminiscent of David Gutersons's novel
East of the Mountains, which covers the theme of a journey from Seattle to the east. I don't care for Guterson's books, but I like the theme he brought to mind. Western Washington, whose urban anchor is Seattle, is geographically a water-drenched and forested environment that is fundamentally different from east-of-the-mountains Washington. The inland side is substantially more arid, agriculture-centric and rural. Population density, politics, landforms-everything is different.

My own life story is a parallel to this "going east" theme. I was born and raised in the rainy
coastal city of Hoquiam, and now reside in the easternmost part of the state. Extreme rain versus wide-open spaces. Gray versus color, if you will. Growing up in the west, my artistic efforts were centered on the pencil, line and shape. Maturing as an artist, I now use pastels and focus on color.

Bruce Morrow has a classic American road trip theme at the Karlson/Gray, a gallery in which I will be hanging my art soon. I sense a theme here. Progress along a linear feature.

I have always been attracted by the river passage theme, myself. I am visualizing a Hoquiam River theme, but for some reason I am gravitating towards a realist style for that. It would be a traveling from the headwaters of the humble waterway near Mt. Hoquiam to it's mouth and the harbor that it empties into on the Pacific Ocean. The issues involved there are many. But, that's for another post. Will an idea not pinned to a roadway speak to the masses?

Animated panorama of the sight where I painted the Hoquiam Shipyard scene.
Try this one of the rugged coast of the Pacific Ocean.

Hoquiam Shipyard 1
6" x 4.5"
Original Pastel
24 October, 2007
Casey Klahn

1 comment:

Casey Klahn said...

Looks like I have the Hoquiam River as bigger than it actually is. It's three principle branches are all relatively short, in point of fact.

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