31 December, 2007

Business & Holiday

We're on a business and holiday break to the coast. I delivered my art to the Karlson/Gray Gallery Saturday. Back to posting in a few days.

27 December, 2007

Five Things You Don't Know About me

My Grandfather, Max Klahn, is the young boy pictured @ the top right. See a story about him below. Next to him at his left are Henry, my Great Grandfather and Charlotte, my Great Grandmother. Location: Quillayute Prairie, WA. Date: 1895. This God-forsaken place is about the rainiest spot in the US, and less than 5 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. And we love it there.

Here is my response to the tag meme where I'm supposed to name Five Things You Don't Know About Me. I was tagged by Alyson and when I read my tag mates' links I was rather shocked to be in such classy company.

I pre-heat my coffee cup in the morning before I put the coffee in.

I was an Infantry Captain in the Army National Guard.

My German immigrant Grandfather, Max Klahn (1879-1937), periodically walked over a hundred miles down the rugged Washington Coastline to go to work during the Great Depression. There was no road whatsoever, and the beach hiking involved paying Indians to raft you across the rivers that you couldn't ford. He had thirteen children.

My father, maternal grandfather, older brother and I used to go to work in the woods (AKA logging) when I was four years old. I remember mud-holes that would mire us, and nearly swallow the trucks.

On our honeymoon, Lorie and I were bumped upstairs at the grandest hotel in Seattle because I knew someone in management there. It turned out to be the Presidential Suite, their best room. The loose-lipped luggage boy let me know that the last two to stay in the room were: Janet Jackson, and before that the Sultan of Brunei. The Sultan didn't stay, though, because there was no kitchen. Yeah, but there was a bathroom the size of a semi. Oh, I forgot - there were two of those!

I think I've only been tagged a couple of times, so I'm not tired of them like some of you are. Anyway, if you are wanting to opt out, please do so. Otherwise, my victims are:

Kim Coles
Charley Parker
Gabriella Jonsson

Margaret Dyer
Gesa Helms

Moleskine Project Blog

My Moleskine and Library Table

Here's your call, Moleskiners! Get your sketch linked at the nifty blog called MoleskineProject, and while you're doing that I'll be trying to figure out where my Moleskine is!

While I'm at it, you might wish to visit the very cool Sully's Design Studio, which is the blog of Kim Coles of Indiana. Her link is: I'm With Sully. I liked her top 25 movies post for the pure fluff of it - and her fave is a John Wayne movie that my father also favored.

26 December, 2007

Future Perfect?

The only thing perfect in the future may be the second coming of the Lord Jesus. All else is shifting sand, as the old hymn declares. Looking back on this past year, I never could have predicted the events that transpired in my artist life. What will transpire in the next year?

I do know the directions that my art will take in the near future. You guessed it: more color! I hear the voice of Tim Allen (Tim the Tool Man) growling, "What this baby needs is more COLOR!!! Awroooh-arrwrr!" My heart and soul is still going that way, and I have yet to discover the last color composition that my pigments have to offer.

New hope abounds for me, especially since the new art studio is suddenly "up", as they say in the mechanic's shop. Not "up & running" yet, though. The running of my new studio will have to be configured on a dream and a prayer. I haven't been in a regular studio pattern for months. Somehow, a lifetime of art habits will have to push to the front again. A little discipline probably wouldn't hurt, either.

I am thankful that my little kids are growing bigger and have interests that only their young childhoods can contain. Somehow I have to shoe-horn in a studio schedule that works on a weekly basis. I can't wait until next year when they will both be at the elementary school and I will have some full days out of the house (and across the yard in the mega-studio).

New opportunities abound. There will be new gallery contacts and the development of the one's I already have. I want to budget for a web designer to take my web site to the next level, since it has started bringing in contacts for me. More artistic development for me in the direction of the figure is at hand.

At The Colorist, my main goal is to tighten-up my writing and themes. The reason for this is that I want to try another self-published book based on the blog and on my Colorist Art. And, I feel that better threads or topics more fully developed may make a difference in the "information overload" environment of the blog world.

The posting of art should become more frequent. I am in negotiations with my photographer to develop a permanent system in the new studio for taking the images.

Interactivity will increase for this blog in the coming year. Do you want to participate in a guest post? Others have pioneered the idea of allowing a guest blogger to have their day in the sun, and I like that idea. The only guidance, I think, will be to fulfill the themes of the Colorist. Perhaps a group of Colorist artists may develop in the near future.

Admin: Thanks to Alyson Stanfield for tagging me. I will be writing my "5 things about me you don't know" in the near future.

21 December, 2007

January - Perspectives on the Landscape - Karlson/Gray Gallery

The Karlson/Gray Gallery, in the Seattle-area town of Langley, WA, is posting it's Perspectives on the Landscape exhibit. The hanging will be January 4-30, 2008.

The following blurb was posted at the KGG website:

Casey Klahn, of Davenport, WA is the invitational artist in the show. His pastel work focuses on a few intuitive color choices and simple, linear shapes. Other artists in the show include Michael Croman, Doug Ealley, Maryanne Gardener, James Hardman, Pete Jordan, Bruce Morrow, Cheri O’Brien, Karen Schroeder, and Beverly Shaw Starkovich.

Those who can make it will be in for a treat.

19 December, 2007

World Studio News

Thanks to Katherine for posting about some new studios, mine included, at Making a Mark. I was hoping to do a new series on the mega-space, but am worried that the whole thing is moving along too quickly!

16 December, 2007


For My Readers - Click to Activate Gif

Happy birthday, The Colorist readers. Thanks for giving this blog legs, and for your kind input over the course of the year.

For My Fellow Bloggers - Click to Activate Gif

For my fellow art bloggers and fellow bloggers-at-large, here's a hearty thank you. The blogroll links most of you, and I feel that the community we share is a great, and a new, venue for artists' expression.


When I began this blog a year ago today, I had an almost morbid fear of computers. We had that fear in the pre-PC days and the feeling was immortalized on film by Stanley Kubrick. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL..." (Then, your blood runs cold! See the scene at You Tube, if you have an extra 9 minutes to burn on this creepy, suspenseful clip.

The world that I was born into was a completely different one than we now inhabit. The short story of that is there were no personal computers. Can you imagine? A current Country song has some great verses to explain this whole matrix change we "old guys" feel. Bucky Covington sings, "We had three TV channels you got up to change", and reflects on how my childhood in the fifties and sixties was "Not just a different time, it was a different world."

In the course of the year, I have not mastered, but at least been able to function on this template style blog. I got competent and confident enough to also put up my website in a template site. I will credit two resources for my blog's "look". One: my fellow art bloggers. I observed what they were using as far as tools are concerned, and chose the few that seemed efficient and productive. Second: help sites like Dummie's Guide. There, I learned how to add headers to my HTML and much more. Yes, it is just cut & paste, but for a non-science guy, it is an education.

The other growth area for me has been learning to use Photoshop. It is an essential tool for art fair artists, such as myself, and I would hazard to say that it will become an essential for any fine artist who is starting out today. I began by posting humorously bad photoshops of myself and Vincent van Gogh, and have enough experience with this tool to accomplish a number of projects with this incredible tool. Keep in mind I had heard that universities offer whole degrees in Photoshop!

My Advice? Write from your own muse, and do this habitually. Add a photo or artwork on every post. For heaven's sake, use the language! Spell check! Read your post for grammar and syntax! Thuh-ankk yyyoouuu, claaaaass.

Next: The future at The Colorist.

15 December, 2007

One Year of Blogging

Casey Klahn

One year of blogging is a cause for celebration. And reflection. And I also think it's a good time for visualizing the next year.

Thoughts about this blog:

The Colorist has logged about 295 posts in the last 364 days. During that time, it has grown and defined itself to be a good quality blog for art content, my personal views, and the broader ideas of colorist art. The first description of The Colorist went something like, "A newsletter for patrons of colorist art, without the artspeak".

Now, the banner reads, "New School Color - Casey Klahn". The subject tags immediately below say, "
Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism".

The readership here, though fairly modest in quantity, do boast a high I.Q. I am grateful for you and for your willingness to learn and observe colorist art, art topics in general and my own artwork in particular.

On a good day, I may see 100 - 125 pageloads, but an average of the year is @ 65. Visitor counts are about 37 - 65 per day. I have evidence of more readership that Statcounter doesn't pick up, so I would say to those looking here trying to learn about successful blogging, don't trust the stats too closely. There are hidden referrers and filters involved. If you need big stats, you will have to post daily. That isn't my goal, and also not a realistic expectation for a Mr. Mom to young kids.

How am I stacking up to my self-established goals here? I think I'll award myself an A+. The resolved commitment to post regularly, and the expansion of my own artistic statement are probably the best highlights of the past year. Equal to that is the fellowship with like-minded art lovers. The readership here is probably half artists and the other half are not, but in many ways the art lover is the equal to the artist in making art live. Rothko has said that his art requires the spectator, and I hope that idea will be a bigger part of his legacy. It's a much better idea than Warhol's pull-quote about "fifteen minutes of fame," IMHO.

If you follow The Colorist closely, you know that my studio has been out of action for the better part of the past year. I am just now getting my new free-standing studio in shape. It has been a challenge to keep floating along on few postings of my own artworks. I see that my Label of "My Artwork" has been used 51 times, but I estimate that unique artwork postings only number about 30 or so. Drawings probably number about 20 (my PC is slow enough that I won't take the time now to count them all).

We are photo poor here at the Klahn studio, but during the past year I did manage to sell more art (dollar-wise) than ever before. I put it that way because my earlier days of selling art involved more pieces sold at lesser prices. I usually have about 50 pastels framed and ready to sell, but I don't get them all recorded properly. However, improvement in that department is happening, too.

One year ago I knew that my studio would be inactive while I dismantled the old and worked on the new. I had a feeling that it would be a slow process, and so I set this as a year of growth in other directions. Through the venue of this blog, my knowledge of art history and also of contemporary art has increased. My ability to define my own art in words has increased many, many times over. Now my new studio is almost ready to be productive, and that feels like book-ends to this past year.

As far as the goals for The Colorist are concerned, my desire has been to not be too focused on myself (Protestant values in action), but to have an outlet for evolving my written statement. The term "colorist art" is vague, and a perfect direction for an artist to grow new and unique work. Have I defined colorism yet? No. But I think I'm moving in the right direction. Alyson Stanfield has gently challenged me to write my "Colorist Manifesto", and she is completely right that there is room for more understanding of this contemporary art phenomenon.

On my goal list is to write the Wikipedia entry on new colorist art. The one there now on the subject: Colorist, while reasonably okay, is still lacking a good understanding of this movement. After that, the manifesto should be written. This blog's interaction with all of you has given me direction as far as the general and specific understanding of color and art. It won't be academic writing, but it will add at least one more kernel of insight into new color art.

It looks like I'll have to finish this thread with another post or two. I want to cover blogging in general and the future of The Colorist.

12 December, 2007

Winter Wonderland

The Studio in Snow, Looking North

The new studio, as seen in the snow, with the long road going north into wilderness. Sort of a metaphor, huh? With the main room floor to finish, the skirting to add, an awning or porch for this back door, and uncounted other tasks ahead, will I ever find my pace at being an artist in this new space?

Stay tuned for interior shots in the next few days. The main room, or studio proper, is getting a new floor as the original one had some water damage. Not to mention the green shag carpet that I got rid of. I'm doing it myself, and getting that boy level is a fussy job.

Nothing at all would've happened on the trailer-studio without my father-in-law and brother-in-law, who live close and farm wheat. Farmers, in case you didn't know it, can do anything they need to with machinery and tools. Gotta love that. And I am appreciative, too.

10 December, 2007

Winter Panorama

New Studio Project in Winter
Click on to See Larger Image

Those of you who reside in cities often have a limited understanding of the rural
lifestyle. New Yorkers think we still live in log forts out here and trade with the Indians. Volcanoes explode periodically.

This photo will probably not disabuse you of your idealized view of us out here in the hinterlands. Eastern Washington is very thinly populated. Where I live, man is far, far outnumbered by North American Whitetail Deer and Coyotes.

This panorama features my new studio, which is a converted 14 foot by 60 foot house trailer. How redneck can you get? Robyn Sinclair has the most beautiful, Old World, little studio space in Tuscan Italy. I have the biggest space one can imagine, in the New World wilderness. Well, it has its own beauty.

07 December, 2007

Darkness Gone?

New Memorial Design, USS Oklahoma

USS Oklahoma, Pearl Harbor

The author William Manchester wrote a cracking good book, his personal memoir of his USMC service in the Pacific, Goodbye Darkness, a Memoir of the Pacific War, 1980. If you're after a dynamic read about the Pacific Theater battles of WWII, this is your best choice. He skillfully weaves himself throughout all of the island campaigns, even though his participation was limited to three of the island battles. A great idea by a great author and an even greater military man, having earned the Navy Cross. (The Navy Cross medal was designed by James Fraser, who sculpted The End of the Trail, as well)

Today we remember during Pearl Harbor Day the treacherous attack by Japan on the US fleet in Hawaii back in 1941. That may seem like an eternity ago for my younger readers, but consider that our veterans of this battle still walk among us. I can't miss them because they stand about twelve foot tall (in my mind's eye). And those are the clerk typists and dining room orderlies. The guys with combat jobs stand even taller. You might take a little time today to consider the painful and sacrificial toil of that Greatest Generation.

On the art front, the design for a new memorial has been made. I gather that Kevin King is the designer. The battleship USS Oklahoma was sunk in that Dec. 7th battle, along with the better known USS Arizona and several other capitol warships. Here's my congratulations for this memorial to the veterans of that infamous day and that courageous ship. Their strife is honored by many today.

Bloggers on Pearl Harbor Day.

06 December, 2007

Electricity & An Artist Interview

New electrical panel to the new studio.

There is now electricity to my new studio! Woo Hoo! Look out, art world! More on my new studio project soon.

If you don't read my other blog, Pastel, you haven't heard about the interview I did for Giselle Borzov at Art Now. There is much new to read there about Colorist art that you haven't read at this blog, so pull up a cup of tea and enjoy reading. The collage above is a collection of my art that Giselle curated for her article. Interesting what another person will choose to represent one's body of work. I am pleased.

05 December, 2007

Fine Crafts


Here at the Klahn
household, we collect fine crafts. Raku pottery is our favorite, and handmade quilts are even-up with that. My goal is to start on an art glass collection.

All of this to say that I love Fine Crafts, but haven't had any links to craft blogs in my blogroll. I did try to right this a while back, and went searching for the websites/blogs of my friends who do pottery, and not a single one had a web presence. So, I put the project on hold.

Today you will see the beginnings of my craft links in my blogroll area. Hoo-ray for Cynthia! Anyone know how to shrink these data fields on the right margin of the blog? I want to keep the links big, but wish to shrink/truncate my labels, which look way out of control.

Admin Note:

Laketrees has listed your favorite blog, The Colorist, in the Top 40 of the Top 101 Artist's Blogs. I still don't know how she compiles her data, but I'll take it.

* Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation; with no Invariant Sections, no Front-Cover Texts, and no Back-Cover Texts. A copy of the license is included in the section entitled "GNU Free Documentation License".

04 December, 2007

Art Links

It looks as if the evils of linking in a gratuitous fashion are many. It has been termed farming, and some definitions of this can be found here and here. Although placing one's blogroll into your posts seems more targeted and on-topic than the strict definitions of blind link exchanges, I also see that Blogger and Google may cut with a dull knife, if you will.

Because of a complaint about my Art Link Letter, I will discontinue its use. Sorry to those of you who may have felt uncomfortable or feared damage from having been in my link cloud at the ends of my posts.

Content should be the basis of blogging, and especially original content. And someday I'll figure out the technology part of this gizmo called the Internet...

It still remains to be seen if I will start a blog or website of art links. It occurs to me that a need exists, but that there are mysterious pitfalls that accompany the execution aspects of these things.

03 December, 2007


10.5" x 7.5"
Soft Pastel
Casey Klahn

Before the era of the personal computer, we used to describe being overloaded by yelling: "tilt!" It had something to do with arcade games. And, it describes my artist's life at the moment. Gallery show in a month, magazine interview, slide deadlines, electricity projects in my new studio and in my home at the same time, winter storms coming through, and on and on.

Yesterday we were sans the Internet due to weather, and also had a blackout for a couple of hours. Just when I had to change into wool socks, the lights came back on.

On the near horizon in blogland, I want to offer the following content:

Northwest School artists, such as Tobey and Callahan
Drawing book reviews of the Classical Drawing Atelier and Figure Drawing, Anthony Ryder
Drawing projects in my Moleskine and also "Cast" studies of my deer skull collection
A whole separate list for Pastel
The Colorist 1-year Anniversary

Meanwhile, my "Link Farm" experiment is going very well with the Art Link Letter generating page loads and Technorati authority like a charm. But don't worry, I still intend to offer content worthy of your readership. As a for instance, the artwork posted today is posted at this blog for the first time.

01 December, 2007

Colour Lens

In the last month, I have been posting some general information about color theory. The take home message that I tried to bring was that the Internet is prejudiced, or at least heavily weighted, towards the colors that computers are limited to. The color theory ("additive") that the CRT, and much of print media, is slaved to is RedGreenBlue.

Take this post, in particular. In it, I attempt to indict the bias of illuminated screens. Possibly my best support is provided by Jusko's link where he supports my argument
for the artist to keep the RedYellowBlue color theory in mind before you buy the RGB/CMYK theories first.

There is nothing "subtractive" about adding one hued pigment to another to create a third hue. Perhaps there is subtraction if you begin with the dominant idea of light-based "mixing" created in your computer or camera.

Theories based on light rather than human perception are what I call "light-dominant" theories. I prefer to think of the experiential side of human interaction with light. Stone age man did not crack a laptop computer, he rubbed colors on stone. BTW, he mixed the pigments in hollowed out "mortars" of stone.

Regarding light versus perception, see the following quote from the Wiki on color:

These physical or physiological quantifications of color, however, do not fully explain the psychophysical perception of color appearance.

Clearly the digital and information era is the dominant paradigm of our day, and art created in the context of this era is every bit as new and legitimate and creative as the "Old School" methods of painting ever were in past eras of history.

But tearing down or redacting the old does no good for advancement. That dialectic is tired and disproven. Painting is the foundation of visual art and must remain intact in it's theories, not re-written or ignored by the newest thing.

The Wikipedia entry on the Munsell Theory has a fine example of the computer's inherent inability to reproduce artist's colors here:

Note that the Munsell Book of Color contains more color samples than this chart for both 5PB and 5Y (particularly bright yellows, up to 5Y 9/20; that is twice as much chroma the 5Y 8/10 square to the left), however they are not reproducible in the sRGB color space, which has a limited color gamut designed to match that of televisions and computer displays.

Now, with all of that in mind, I have found after my series on color theory has been written a new, wonderful resource for all things color theory. See Colour - Resources for Artists, a new Squidoo Lens by Katherine Tyrrell.

Her blurb on the lens is here:

This lens is assembling links to information and advice about colour and how to understand and analyse it as an artist. Also listed are various books concerned with colour.

And for goodness sake, crack a book about color and don't rely on the Internet only! Katherine has listed many books throughout her wonderful lens, and also I would prefer the links that are from artist's paint manufacturers, such as Gamblin. Put another way: just take all Internet sights about color theory with a grain of salt.

Admin Note:

My Technorati Authority did dip to 20 on the wear-out of 90 day old links, but I picked up 2 more links and am now at 21. Probably I had another 1 wear out, for a net gain of 1.

On the positive side of things, I have been listed in the Top 101 Artist's Blogs, apparently on the authority of Technorati. The list is compiled at Laketrees.blogspot. And, I have no idea how she conducts her research to rank these Technorati-listed art site, but as they say, "there you have it".
Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism