09 March, 2009

Dark Secrets

Dark Secret
Sketch from Little Hoquiam River
Thumbnail Size
Charcoal on Paper
Casey Klahn

For some time now I have been carrying this dark secret. It just appeared one day, out of the blue, in my painting Blue Wandering.

Blue Wandering
14" x 10"
Original Pastel
Casey Klahn

You can see it there - a dark "spot" or space hovering by the trees. What is it doing there? Soon, dear reader, I shall reveal this dark secret to you.

The Hoquiam River series

The series of works that I have been doing, which I call "The Ho
quiam River" series, explores this dark path, or space. My home town of Hoquiam, Washington, is an overcast place - just like my father's home town of Forks, Washington, which was made famous by Twilight.

Stephenie Meyer says about her book, Twilight:

For my setting, I knew I needed someplace ridiculously rainy. This turned out to be the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. I pulled up maps of the area... And there, right where I wanted it to be, was a tiny town called "Forks." It couldn't have been more perfect if I had named it myself. I did a Google image search on the area, and if the name hadn't sold me, the gorgeous photographs would have done the trick. (Images like these of the Hoh Rainforest (a short drive from Forks). Also see forks-web.com ).

This coastal hometown

"Ridiculously rainy;
" good one. Rain and clouds dominate everything, and one's cup runneth over with nature, as it were. Trees, moss and greenery as thick as primordial soup cover all aspects of the landscape. Mud and muck; clouds and cold. A place to love, but only if you're from there, it seems.

Little Hoquiam River
No Vampires Visible

This coastal hometown is where I first started drawing and developing my art. As you might imagine, the colorist side of me never flourished until I moved to the sunny eastern side of Washington state. But the fundamentals of light and line were my muse on the coast.

Trees as tall and as big as all heaven surrounded us, and the pathways between them, well - there weren't any. The undergrowth is as thick as a jungle, which coastal forests here are literally. They are called temperate rain forests, and are exactly like jungle, minus the nice temperatures.

What are the dark secrets? Just ask yourself this: what are the ways to create a plastic space in a picture? Why might one's eye fix inside the picture plane and stay there? More when we enter the Hoquiam River Series...

Credit: MP3 Music from the Dark Shadows TV Series.


Jala Pfaff said...

I think it's one of those fairy-tale bears lying in wait in the forest...

Casey Klahn said...

No, my dear, the bear is real.

Trevor Lingard said...

Hello Casey
This reading is interesting and after seeing your sketch , the painting and then the photo of the tree lined lake I was immediately drawn to the dark hole in the trees by the lake.. This example has really help me to understand your creative thought.
Kind Regards

Casey Klahn said...

Appreciate it, Trevor. Thanks for reading.

More to come!

Miki Willa said...

Hoquiam and Forks are, indeed, very beautiful places. When the weather warms up, we intend to head over there for some plein air painting, if the rain allows. I particularly like First Beach on the coast near Forks.

Casey Klahn said...

Let me know when you're going. It's a long way for me, but I am intending to make a plein air trip to Hoquiam, again.

Seth said...

Both pieces are quite intriguing, as is the secret itself.

Casey Klahn said...

Thank you for reading, Seth. I like your blog.

Brian McGurgan said...

I like both of these pieces very much Casey - the loose vigor of the thumbnail and its suggestive quality, and the composition and rich colors (of course)of the larger pastel. I'm reminded of looking between trees in a dense forest as a kid and seeing those dark places where - as Jala says - the bears and wolves all live.

Casey Klahn said...

Believe it or not, I worked with that image a few times before I got distilled the thumbnail elements to spare things only. The photo is so full of data, but I had a fresh memory (and a catalog of old ones) to inform me.

Gesa said...

Oh, I see you've been very busy - I like the most recent posts a lot: very different in terms of temperature and mood but very intriguing.

Hm, I think there's definitely something in exploring those eery places. - I'm sure every location has its dark secrets, like the Bull's Hollow where I'm from. I am more and more intrigued trying to capture some of those ephemerals...

Casey Klahn said...

Plastic Space, said the voice...

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