07 January, 2011


Studio and Struggle

My current studio work.  

I have been working diligently on the Hoquiam River series, because I want to have at least twenty paintings come the exhibit.  So far, so good.  Maybe there is a thread that unifies them.  They have been spread out over time, so I wonder.

It was time for a break, and so I tried to develop an image from Italy.  I was happy, but with reservations. That isn't too bad for a genre I don't specialize in.  

Riva Practice

Today, I had a short day in the studio, and had to call India for you-know-what.  The technician says my internet dish is old.  Good one.  Anyway, I got into doing some people on the street, in the Margaret Dyer style.  I want to explore those some more, as I am a huge fan of hers.  There is a thread of unity in her work and the work of Edgar Degas.

I liked the way Celeste Bergin mentioned at her blog that she does paintings for practice.  Then, she whips out a fantastic piece of a mother and child on the beach (see the link).  Hello.  Genius at work.

File this under miscellany.  I only found it the other day, and yet it is a series of posts done in the summer of 2009.  Sadie J. Valeri attended a residency involving the Hudson River Fellowship, and worked en Plein Air in upstate New York for a month.  I read the whole series with my mouth wide open.  That means I am in awe of the wonderful work done by Valeri, and I especially loved the use of graphite and chalk, and pen and ink washes.  Beautiful.

Cheers!  I'd better post this before my satellite dish falls over.


Sara Mathewson said...

I like this painting Casey.
I think you did very well with it.


Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Sara!

I see lots of good ideas in it. I have to control those edges, though. And the funny perspective of the wall that goes away - it may be accurate, but it has trouble in the reading.

It is fun learning about complex building scenes. I also added people, but the focus isn't good enough to see them. The shapes down there are nice.

Celeste Bergin said...

Hey Casey...thanks for the shout out...I agree with Sara, your architectural scene is a good one. Seems to me there is nothing you can't paint. It is fun to see a photo of your space too.

Nika said...

Yea, I can just feel my phone fork getting out of tune. Seriously...
The composition if this scene is good. I like the repetition of the little round white shape, you really know how to work that stuff.

Jala Pfaff said...

Hi Casey,
What's an internet dish?

Sounds like the beginning of a joke.

Love the color work here. The sky and the tops of the buildings look like "your" style, and the bottom half of the painting doesn't... hmm.... verrrry interesting.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Celeste. My space in the studio is fun, if you're a dust bunny. I have got to clean up in there.

Nika, thanks. I drew this scene in north Italy in a sketchbook. Those signs are as is, except I had to look up Italian street signage to make sure of the colors. Love/hate the interweb.

I was conscious of the repeated shapes, and made a third "spot" of bright on the rooftop gable. I drew the roof lines with a step of variance so they wouldn't be on the same line. Somehow, they grew together, and then I had to re-draw them later to get the variance back.

Then, the lot of shapes at the bottom, with triangles and squares, was much fun. Way fun. I'll make a better photo later so you can see.

Hey, Jala! Too funny. I used to think of telephone feeds as backwoods. Now, it's the satellite dish for my net. I will always be two steps behind...

Good crit on the top vs bottom. I think the main reason may be the variance in shapes, really small on the bottom, and big on the top. There is a pointed thread in the colors, which doesn't come out in the pic, that ties the two. Now, to go stare at that part some more...

Jean Spitzer said...

Good luck with the struggle.

A break in routine--even painting something you don't normally paint--tends to help.

Personally, I'm ready for a vacation.

Jean Spitzer said...

I think maybe the reason the street scene painting looks so different is not subject matter, but detail. Usually your images seem much more edited and focused.

Casey Klahn said...

But, jean, the holiday's just got over! I am ready to engage. Yesterday I did a Degas practical painting. It was terrible - I learned much. Degas rules.

Anonymous said...

Lover of architecture here, so this is perfect. Love your color choices.
Can't wait to see your river series too. Much to look forward to.

Jake said...

I really like the Italy structure piece Casey. But you know I've always been a fan of your drawing skills. The perspective pulls your eye very nicely around the composition and it’s fun to see such a contrast to your more organic impressions of nature.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks, Jake! I should have a formal photo of it ASAP.

loriann signori said...

Hi Casey,
Sounds like you have been very busy stretching in many different ways. Looks like good fun!
As far as the painting, working with solid, undeniable shapes is very different than what you normally choose. The structure of it forces you to comply. I wonder, you of course can do it- since you have strong drawing skills, did you enjoy painting it?
As far as Sadie, she indeed is amazing. I was fortunate to be able to work with her for a week last year. She is a thoughtful, very giving teacher who hits the nail on the head each time.
Hope your "dish" is repaired soon.

Casey Klahn said...

Hey, Loriann! Great to talk to you!

That's a good description of complex building scenes. Although it reminds me of the perspectival demands in landscape drawing, too.

Enjoying your recent works, too, BTW.

Jala Pfaff said...

Yes, I think that's it--it's because the bottom looks much "busier" than I am used to from you.

Casey Klahn said...

Thanks for looking again, Jala! I wonder if the whole carries off as unified.

Please check back when I get the formal pic. BTW, the wife gets this image (birthday!)

Linda Packard said...

I somehow missed this post before. I too like what you've done with the architecture...outside your comfort zone perhaps? I love the cool/warm vibrations. Very nice. And thanks for all the artist references...I will check them out.

Casey Klahn said...

I did another couple of small Italian scenes, which I posted at pastels.blogspot.com, Linda. Those I like.

Thanks for reading the post anytime!

Linda Packard said...

Hi Casey. I tried pastels.blogspot.com but it is an outdated blog (2004)with no art works. Also tried pastel.blogspot.
Would love to see your other pieces, could you re-check that url?

Casey Klahn said...

I'm sorry, Linda! Try pastelsblog.blogspot.


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