29 January, 2010

A Wolf Kahn Curriculum

After Wolf Kahn, #1
9.5" x 6"
Pastel on Paper
Casey Klahn

"Painting is easy, till you know how."
Edgar Degas. h/t Wolf Kahn.

Speaking of Kahn, I found an interesting lesson plan at the Hoyt Institute of Fine Arts: Wolf Kahn, A Curriculum of his Life, Work and Influences. I didn't like the section where a teacher assigns common meanings to colors, but if you stand back from the whole lesson plan, you see a nice hodge-podge of data on contemporary beliefs about color. Actually, it is a collection of various lesson plans on color, with an emphasis on Modern art and current artists. There are also a lot of art and education links embedded in this plan.

The Wolf Kahn images are enough to recommend this pdf. file to you.

Quote, Hoyt Center curriculum,

These lesson plans are the result of the work of the teachers who have attended the Columbia Education Center’s Summer Workshop. CEC is a consortium of teacher from 14 western states dedicated to improving the quality of education in the rural, western, United States, and particularly the quality of math and science Education. CEC uses Big Sky Telegraph as the hub of their telecommunications network that allows the participating teachers to stay in contact with their trainers and peers that they have met at the Workshops.

27 January, 2010

Becoming Better

Intent, After Degas
@ 7" x 5"
Charcoal & Pastel
Casey Klahn

Degas Figures

One way for me to become a better artist is to study and copy master works. I am more interested in Degas' figures every time I look at them. When I copy them, I get a sense of his real mastery of the human form. He challenges me to get the stance and the attitude right. Above is a master study from a Degas painting. The photo, again, is from my point and shoot. I will provide a better photo when time allows.

This is the second one of these I have done copying Degas, and I noticed that he likes a dark area above the head. I am trying to see if it works for me, and I wonder if that element has more depth in real life versus the jpeg or book photo that I have.


The intent of my next few posts about reviewing my goals will not be to dissect each artist's trait one by one. See this reference for this thread. I just want to think about the words and see where to go next. Maybe some of these will remain on my list, but m
y new list will contain other traits I am thinking about. I aspire to improve my art, first and foremost. Are there some attitudes and behaviors that may help me grow as an artist?

Stay tuned, colorist readers. Speaking of reading The Colorist, I have made a little badge for those bloggers who want to brag about
this (see below). I don't anticipate that artist bloggers will post this, since they have links to me already. But, my friends in other blog genres may like to post this handsome bling on their blogs - it's already sized to fit. Thanks!

25 January, 2010

Goals Review Time

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Mary Cassatt, After Degas - detail
@ 32" x 26"
Casey Klahn

Time to review goals from the past bi-anum. I made the decision to make a two year plan back in September of 2008 because the handwriting was on the wall for the economic downturn. I took a chill pill, and one thing I decided was that the monetary
economy would be less rewarding for me, so I made goals that would relate to an economy of reputation. Call it the "profile economy," if you will.

If financial kibbles weren't forthcoming, then I felt that this would be a good time to focus on exposure and reputation. In a strict art sense, I wanted to bring up the quality of my work. But how?

Blue Trees in the Middle Distance
7 - 3/8ths" x 5.75"
Casey Klahn

Brought forward from 15 September, 2008:

Since my children are starting school, and my summer art fair season has ended, my goal review and new goal setting exercises happen now. One of the things that I learned from Alyson Stanfield, the Art Biz Coach, has been to think about and state your desired character traits along with your goals. In other words, what are the traits you aspire to along with your career progress?

The artist that I aspire to be has:

Creative Integrity
Self Understanding

These are loaded words and "heavy" language, but they have deeper meanings for me. I'll be posting on each one, to expand on what these attributes mean to me.

Need Motivation? Try this renowned article (soon to be a book?) by Gaping Void. Hugh MacLeod is the Gaping Void cartoonist, and a Marketing Strategist. Excerpt:

Ignore everybody.

The idea doesn't have to be big. It just has to be yours.

Merit can be bought. Passion can't.

Thanks, Katherine Tyrrell, for this link.

The navel gazing will begin in the next few posts. I hope to review old goals and write new ones. I already have some traits sketched out, but will have to mull them over. Thanks for reading.

23 January, 2010

Free Association

Pinks & Greens
7.8" x 6"
Casey Klahn

Let's noodle around the net for a little on a Saturday morning. Very little focus, but I thought you'd enjoy some of this content.

Rarely, if ever, have I looked at the blogger site, Blogs of Note. For some reason I did take a peek and actually noticed a couple I have seen before. If you want some new ideas, this is a good place to go. And, unlike many other blog aggregates, they seem to find their way to artist's blogs occasionally. Here are a couple of eclectic art/craft blogs, Nat The Fat Rat and The Hermitage. Notice the follower bling and see the way blogging can be when you do it very well. Where does Rima find a plug in?

A photo/art essay on What is Beauty? is up at the TelegraphUK. Do you want to post your own version? I know I do. File that under soon.

Also from London, you can get a fine review of the Real Van Gogh art and letters exhibit at the Royal Academy of Arts by reading Katherine Tyrrell's post. I followed the links to several newspaper reviews, and read Vincent's last letter, which was in his pocket when he committed suicide.

Why don't you go here and read Margery Caggiano's blog, From the Studio? It is a gem, with a wide view of fine arts. Need some figure painting and drawing blogs? Start with Tina Collins, at Starving Artist. You'll enjoy her blog, and she links to numerous figure art blog sites. Wonderful!

A new pastel web site out of Europe is the Soft Pastel News. A daily report covering pastel art, news and events, it is a rich read for those of us who enjoy the medium of angels.

Is your art broken? It might be, and you just don't know it, yet. Sorry to be so provocative, but I was hit with a clue bat, myself, when I read Micah R. Condon's art marketing site, ArtIsBroken. Read it and don't weep - get busy!

Enjoy your day.

21 January, 2010

Eddy Out River Sketch

Eddy Out River
@ 5" x 7"
Casey Klahn

The sketch is a place to think through one's picture idea - the image you want to bring forth. Many times, the drawing cannot be improved upon by paint or pastel - color may or may not add anything to the story.

So, the questions begin. What will color add to this image? If anything more can be said by developing this into a painting, then which colors to start with? Will I change the idea too much by evolving this image? If it changes, will that new image be better than this?

What are your ideas on the transition of an image from a drawing to a painting?

19 January, 2010

Master Study and a ning Community

Master Copy
@ 15" x 25"
Conte, Compressed Charcoal, Pastel
Casey Klahn

This is a somewhat focused shot taken in my studio with my point and shoot camera. I'll post a better exposure when I get the professional photographer in there. It is a master copy of a drawing by you-know-who. I say that, anymore, because I cringe when I see my own art on the Google Image page one or two when I query another artist's name. I hate that.

I'm still suffering the cold and flu season infections - this is #3 in a row. Ugh. This will probably keep me out of the studio, today, and I just started what will probably be a break-through piece for one of my new series. Oh well, I think I need to transfer it to a new sheet of paper, anyway. Better left until I can get well.

Visit The Art of the Landscape

Leaving the figure behind for now, I have been invited to join The Art of the Landscape, which is a ning community that was started by noted artist blogger, Katherine Tyrrell (Making a Mark). Katherine was smart to add a blog to that: art-landscape.blogspot (The Art of the Landscape). Part of the concept is to raise the profile of landscape art, which is ubiquitous, but sometimes has gotten the short end of the stick in the "Art World." The tag line for this is "learning more about landscape art - by exploring, sharing and doing." I love the interactive theory, here, which describes real-world undertakings, not just ether-net stuff.

Here's to landscape art - long may it thrive!

14 January, 2010

Studio in the Mist - An Update

Local Landscape in Mist
Graphite on Sketch Paper
Casey Klahn

You are long overdue for a studio news report, and so today we'll get caught up. But first, here is an around-the-blogosphere update.

A recent post at Observe Closely, by Jan Olsen, addresses 5 Elements of a Successful Artist's Blog. I am working on my response to her post, and recommend her well designed blog to you.

Over at Katherine A. Cartwright's Studio blog, Katherine and her readers have just finished a three post exercise in trying to define what art is. To do it right, begin with her challenge first, Is It Art?, then proceed to Results... and lastly: Summary: What is Art?, to see how it all shakes out. Well worth your time, and not a few chuckles will be had!

The Colorist is now coming to you formatted on my new laptop pc. Sorry Mac-heads, I just couldn't afford the time to relearn all of my hard-earned but meager e-savvy. The time savings I am enjoying is phenomenal - it's as if I have an extra 2 hours added to my day. My old laptop now serves merely to run my old Photoshop version 2.

Bald Ridge in Haze
Graphite & Pastel on Sketch Paper
Casey Klahn

Studio News.

My studio is humming with activity. We have had snow, but now are suffering a mid winter thaw. This morning I slipped on a shield of ice and had to lay there like a beached whale for a minute wondering how stupid a guy has to be to step on 2" of ice with rubber boots. Ouch. Both kids are home with sinus infections, and I am sharing that with them, myself. Ugh.

There are a number of new works in the studio, waiting for the photographer to capture them. In the meanwhile, I have taken some informal photos of sketches
with my point-and-shoot, and two of them are posted above. Enjoy these over the next few days, and don't be too critical of the focus. I am totally in debt to my wife and her fantastic skills with the lens.

Speaking of lens skill, Lorie has taken a series of portraits of your artist on the occasion of my recent awards. See one of them below. Time to get out some newsletters and press releases, and in the mean time you get to enjoy my "mug" in the next few posts.

I am working on three new series, and on my studio goals and direction. I will review my old goals for you, and we can walk through the new ones. But, as usual, I don't find this stuff easy and I am still at this task. Stay tuned.

The Colorist update.

A while back, I got rid of the blogger profile tool here at The Colorist. It was too blogger for my tastes - trite and dull. On the right, see my new link to a refurbished blog profile. More remodeling will be forthcoming here soon.

The Colorist blog is swinging along very well. Statistics are up and there seems to be some synergy developing as far as the popularity and readership here. Thanks to everyone who has been reading, and to those bloggers who link to me.

Casey Klahn
January, 2010
Photo: Lorie Klahn

11 January, 2010

Snow Subjects

Hut on the Heath
6" x 8"
Casey Klahn

Ponte Vecchio in the Snow
4"x 4"
Casey Klahn

Morning Buttress
4.5" x 4.75"
Casey Klahn

Behind the Garage
7" x 8.5"

Casey Klahn

Towpath in Winter, After Wolf Kahn
8.5" x 11.75"
Casey Klahn

Snow is the subject of the latest Pastel Journal magazine. I got inspired by that, and decided to curate my own collection of artworks that feature snow.

Plus, finally having some snow on the ground helped me get in the mood.

08 January, 2010

Seattle Rain

Do take the time to follow Susan Abbott's A Painter's Year. Usually in Vermont, this watercolorist is touring the Pacific Northwest right now and is live-blogging by posting her paintings. Today's Seattle image, Seattle Street Corner, hits the nail on the head.

Did I mention it rains there?

gif by i karen

07 January, 2010

A Philosophy of Beauty

Are you looking for a coherent philosophy of beauty as it relates to art? Roger Scruton has offered the series, Why Beauty Matters, through the BBC. I post the first of six here, and you may follow the prompts at You Tube to see the rest of his excellent show.

My own take is that the
presence of beauty in contemporary art is the strongest argument for the sublime in fine art. Beauty continues to please contemporary tastes, and so I would ask: if post modernists have proven that art is not contained by beauty, then why is there so much of it in art today?

View Mr. Scruton's series, and I believe you will have a clearer picture of art's value than was presented by Mr. Schama's series, which I linked to previously.

01 January, 2010

New Years Welcome

Prairie Bush
5.25" x 12.75"
Casey Klahn

Happy New Year! Just checking in, before I take a road trip to the Seattle area to pick up my art from the show. It was a great success, and I have been invited for tea to view one of my works in its new home. That will be fun, and the rewards of having sold a couple of works are greater when you are friends with your patrons. Thanks, Northwest University, for hosting the exhibition.

Thanks to those who voted, and everyone who participated in the Making a Mark awards. Just about all of the bloggers know that I took an honor for best picture of a place (I'll call that the landscape category). It turns out that I was runner up for best picture overall, which is also a humbling but welcome achievement - thanks to my voters.

What I like about this MAM award is that it was a vote by peers and by the public, rather than coming from an arts professional or an arts committee. I also like that it was a very broad based award, with a worldwide venue, and originating from London, where Katherine Tyrrell blogs. Woo Hoo! Got to love the internet, and I will say that my first thought when I was nominated was, "I'll never win this award!"

Okay, I am set to go on the road for a few days, and hope to post/read while on the trip. Be good, and if you want to read the best in blogging, my previous post could keep you busy for an hour or more with awesome art blogging.

fireworks_2154.gif picture by caseyklahn

gif by Michael Hogue
Abstract Expressionism, Art Criticism, Artists, Colorist Art, Drawing, History, Impressionism, Modern Art, Painting, Pastel, Post Impressionism