11 May, 2008


Turquoise Forest
14" x 10"
Soft Pastel
Casey Klahn

Blue Wandering
14" x 10"
Original Pastel
Casey Klahn

The following quote from Lloyd is a good reminder of what we love about the color blue. It is prized by the artist, and I will add that French Ultramarine is the easiest color to form into pastel sticks, and my yummiest single color.

Blue. The noble color of the sky.

Blue has always been associated with royalty, it is cool, soothing, a reminder of infinity and things spiritual. It gives a sense of stability. It is no co-incidence that big financial institutions often have blue colored emblems.

Although the sky and the sea are both rich in blues, blue coloring is rare in natural minerals, Azurite and Turquoise being almost the only ones used for art until modern times. Ancient Britons covered their faces in Woad, and around the Mediterranean Indigo was used for dyeing textiles. The scarcity of good and affordable blues meant both were employed by artists from time to time. The Egyptians developed Blue Frit to meet the need for a good blue but it was too weak and coarse to last until modern times.

When the Europeans began importing ground Lapis Lazuli they thought they had found the perfect blue finally. It was except that it cost more than the same weight of gold. It wasn't until the synthesization of Ultramarine in the 1820's that artist had what they really needed all those years, an affordable, permanent, and useful deep blue of great beauty.

Lloyd Irving Bradbury


Adam Cope said...

beautiful duo of pastels here casey

alot of post-production twiddling in photoshop?

i can see these making exciting stained glass windows - chase a commission (that pays you to collobrate with a master stainer craftsman)?

Casey Klahn said...

I have a hard time in Photoshop, but the first image of Turquoise Forest was too dark. Taking down the saturation and lightening, each by @ 5% seemed to help.

My wife is having troubles with the camera, too. It's so complex that some photo sessions are having to be repeated.


Adam Cope said...

taking down & not taking up the saturation... wow these must be sizzlers in real life!

darks always a problem in photography

Anonymous said...

Hey Casey, I think I finally figured out how to get Blogger to cooperate with me (by using OpenID and entering my blog's URL). These are gorgeous - I love the rich blues and the strong compositions. The dark horizontal band at center left in "Turquoise Forest" is especially satisfying. Noble indeed! Brian

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Brian.

I feel less dumb when I see an IT guy struggle with Blogger. Glad you're on board!

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